5 Surprising Benefits of Group Therapy in 2023

benefits of group therapy 2023 Mariposa Center

What are the benefits of group therapy in 2023? 

If the idea of sharing personal details with others makes you uncomfortable, group therapy for mental wellness can seem like more trouble than it’s worth. But there are many surprising benefits to group therapy, even in 2023 and beyond, that the Mariposa Center team can attest to based on firsthand experience.

What is Group Therapy & What Are the Benefits?

Unlike one-on-one sessions with a therapist or counselor, group therapy connects multiple individuals who are struggling with the same issues to work through them together.

If you’re new to therapy, or if the thought of opening up to strangers in a group setting feels intimidating, we’d like you to consider these five surprising benefits of group therapy in 2023. A recent American Psychological Association study found that group therapy is as much or more effective than individual therapy, and you might find that it’s a better fit for your needs than you expected.

1. Realizing You Are Not Alone

Mental health challenges like depression, anxiety, and substance abuse can contribute to feelings of guilt, shame, and negative self-worth that can be extremely isolating. If you feel like you can’t share what you’re going through with those around you, it can be extremely difficult to escape the negative behaviors and trauma that often underlie these issues.

Connecting with people who share your struggles in a group therapy setting forces you to recognize that your concerns aren’t unique. Further, becoming aware that others are carrying the same burden can make it easier to tackle your personal battles head-on.

2. Mutual Support

Another one of the benefits of group therapy is that it expands the amount of knowledge in the room – and the opportunities to receive and provide support.

Individuals in group therapy are often in different stages of their recovery journey. If you are new, for example, those who have been where you are can offer tips and advice from personal experience.

Also, support in group therapy is a two-way street that benefits both the helpers and those being helped. By providing your personal perspective on the challenges that others are facing, you can increase your own feelings of fulfillment and purpose. 

In fact, research has proved that charitable giving can generate mental and physical benefits for the giver – and the same principle holds true in group therapy.

3. Breaking the Stigma

If you have struggled or are struggling with mental health challenges, it can be hard to discuss these issues with those closest to you. Stigma related to mental health issues is still prevalent in some cultures and communities, which can make it hard for individuals to seek out treatment.

In group therapy, however, that stigma is erased because everyone there is dealing with similar concerns. What’s more, all of the participants in group therapy are there to deal with these concerns openly and with the help of others. In simple terms, you’re less likely to feel judged or ashamed when everyone is in the same boat.

4. Finding Your Voice and Reclaiming Your Narrative

As we mentioned above, discussing your mental health challenges with others, including non-therapists, is an important step toward restoring the joys and balance of a normal life.

Group therapy gives participants a safe space to figure out how to talk about their negative behaviors and mental health struggles. By finding your voice in this setting, you can start to build a more positive internal narrative that separates you as a person from the challenges you’re struggling with. 

Further, you’ll gain perspective on the “story” of your life that brought you to therapy – and how to write new chapters without the burdens you’ve been carrying thus far.

5. Increased Accountability

One of the hardest parts of therapy can be applying the lessons you’ve learned and completing the tasks in “real life” that will help you regain a balanced and happy life.

Group therapy incentivizes these behaviors by increasing accountability among group members. For example, if you tell your therapist that you’ll do something on a given day or in a given week but you don’t, you’re only letting down one person. But if you tell 12 people in your group that you’re going to do something, you’re a lot more likely to do it because you know that all of your groupmates will know if you didn’t.

“One of the incredible benefits of group therapy that we’ve witnessed is the positive feedback loop it can create. Some participants have never had a person in their lives who encouraged mental wellness, let alone an entire group. Because of that, the personal growth that can be achieved in these sessions is staggering.”

– Krista Driver, LMFT; President & CEO, Mariposa Center

In conclusion, the benefits of group therapy are numerous and not to be ignored. Facing your struggles and regaining your seed of hope can be easier with others by your side – and you owe it to yourself to try.

Click here to learn more about group therapy options at Mariposa Center.

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