Group Therapy is an extremely effective approach to therapy where group members are comprised of 8-10 people who share similar problems and issues. Each group has its own area of emphasis, such as , Substance Abuse, Compulsive Behavior Disorders, Codependency, Relationship, and Family Issues. Together, group members share their struggles and obstacles in life and help each other to make the positive changes necessary to recover and improve their lives. The participation and interactions of group therapy are the critical elements that promote and facilitates changes in developing a healthier and more functional lifestyle. Because the members are working together for change and self- improvement, the emphasis and direction of the group is always directed by the therapist towards achieving this goal. In addition to guiding the group in a positive and effective direction, emotional safety and confidentiality are strictly observed and monitored by the therapist who motivates and guides the members to develop and practice new and healthier coping skills. The therapist also makes sure that all the participants get their needs met and get the most possible benefit from the group. Often, participants strongly identify with other group members by openly expressing their thoughts and feelings in a safe and caring environment. It is common for members to form important supportive and healthy relationships which often lead to long term valuable friendships.
While participating in the group, members experience an atmosphere of unconditional acceptance, non-judgement , validation, encouragement, support, and the opportunity for genuine and honest self-expression. These important experiences in the group are the basis which drives the process of changes that foster improvements in personal and relationship functioning.
Studies on effectiveness of group vs individual therapy indicate that group therapy is more effective that individual therapy in affecting long term positive change. However, the best and most effective course of treatment includes both individual and group therapy along with psychiatric care as indicated.
For more information regarding group therapy, please contact Brad Haber, LCSW, CAP at (954) 261-5901.