Group Therapy is a form of psychotherapy in which one or more therapists treat a small group of clients together as a group. Some other therapy is including in group therapy, Cognitive behavioral therapy or Interpersonal therapy to exploring and examining interpersonal relationships within the group.
The broader concept of group therapy can be taken to include any helping process that takes place in a group, including support groups, skills training groups (such as anger management, mindfulness, relaxation training or social skills training), and psycho-education groups. More specialized forms of group therapy would include non-verbal expressive therapies such as art therapy, dance therapy, or music therapy.
PURPOSE OF GROUP THERAPY:
In a mixed group that has members at various stages of development or recovery, a member can be inspired and encouraged by another member who has overcome the problems with which they are still struggling.
While this is not strictly speaking a psychotherapeutic process, members often report that it has been very helpful to learn factual information from other members in the group. For example, about their treatment or about access to services.
SOME EASY INFORMATION TO EASILY UNDERSTAND
A) Corrective recapitulation of the primary family experience:
Members often unconsciously identify the group therapist and other group members with their own parents and siblings in a process that is a form of transference specific to group psychotherapy. The therapist’s interpretations can help group member’s gain understanding of the impact of childhood experiences on their personality, and they may learn to avoid unconsciously repeating unhelpful past interactive patterns in present-day relationships.
B) Development of socializing techniques:
The group setting provides a safe and supportive environment for members to take risks by extending their repertoire of interpersonal behavior and improving their social skills.
C) Imitative behavior:
One way in which group members can develop social skills is through a modelling process, observing and imitating the therapist and other group members. For example, sharing personal feelings, showing concern, and supporting others.
It has been suggested that this is the primary therapeutic factor from which all others flow. Humans are herd animals with an instinctive need to belong to groups, and personal development can only take place in an interpersonal context. A cohesive group is one in which all members feel a sense of belonging, acceptance, and validation.
E) Existential factors:
Learning that one has to take responsibility for one’s own life and the consequences of one’s decisions.
Catharsis is the experience of relief from emotional distress through the free and uninhibited expression of emotion. When members tell their story to a supportive audience, they can obtain relief from chronic feelings of shame and guilt.
G) Interpersonal learning:
Group members achieve a greater level of self-awareness through the process of interacting with others in the group, who give feedback on the member’s behaviour and impact on others.
This factor overlaps with interpersonal learning but refers to the achievement of greater levels of insight into the genesis of one’s problems and the unconscious motivations that underlie one’s behaviour.
Type of therapies include-
WHY GROUP THYERAPY?
Groups provide positive peer support. from the very beginning, elicits a commitment by all the group members to attend and to recognize that failure to attend, to be on time, and to treat group time as special disappoints the group and reduces its effectiveness. Therefore, both peer support and pressure for abstinence are strong.
Groups reduce the sense of isolation,at the same time; groups can enable participants to identify with others who are struggling with the same issues. The treatment groups of all types provide these opportunities for sharing, for some people the more formal and deliberate nature of participation in process group therapy increases their feelings of security and enhances their ability to share openly.
Groups enable people who abuse substances to witness the recovery of others. From this inspiration, people who are addicted to substances gain hope that they, too, can maintain abstinence. Furthermore, an interpersonal process group, which is of long duration, allows a magnified witnessing of both the changes related to recovery as well as group members’ intra‐ and interpersonal changes.
Groups help members learn to cope with any sort of disorder and other problems by allowing them to see how others deal with similar problems. Groups can accentuate this process and extend it to include changes in how group members relate to bosses, parents, spouses, siblings, children, and people in general.
Groups can provide useful information to clients who are new to recovery. For example, clients can learn how to avoid certain triggers for use, the importance of abstinence as a priority, and how to self‐identify as a person recovering from substance abuse. Group experiences can help deepen these insights. For example, self‐identifying as a person recovering from substance abuse can be a complex process that changes significantly during different stages of treatment and recovery and often reveals the set of traits that makes the system of a person’s self as altogether unique.
Groups provide feedback concerning the values and abilities of other group members. This information helps members improve their conceptions of self or modify faulty, distorted conceptions. In terms of process groups in particular, as specific themes emerge in a client’s group experience, repetitive feedback from multiple group members and the therapist can chip away at those faulty or distorted conceptions in slightly different ways until they not only are correctable, but also the very process of correction and change is revealed through the examination of the group processes.
Groups offer family‐like experiences. Groups can provide the support and nurturance that may have been lacking in group members’ families of origin. The group also gives members the opportunity to practice healthy ways of interacting with their families.
Groups encourage, coach, support, and reinforce as members undertake difficult or anxiety‐provoking tasks.
Groups offer members the opportunity to learn or relearn the social skills they need to cope with everyday life. Group members can learn by observing others, being coached by others, and practicing skills in a safe and supportive environment.
Groups can effectively confront individual members about substance abuse and other harmful behaviors. Such encounters are possible because groups speak with the combined authority of people who have shared common experiences and common problems. Confrontation often plays a part of substance abuse treatment groups because group members tend to deny their problems. Participating in the confrontation of one group member can help others recognize and defeat their own denial.
Groups allow a single treatment professional to help a number of clients at the same time. In addition, as a group develops, each group member eventually becomes acculturated to group norms and can act as a quasi‐therapist himself, thereby ratifying and extending the treatment influence of the group leader.
Groups can add needed structure and discipline to the lives of people, who often enter treatment with their lives. Therapy groups can establish limitations and consequences, which can help members, learn to clarify what is their responsibility and what is not.
Groups instil hope, a sense that “If he can make it, so can I.” Process groups can expand this hope to dealing with the full range of what people encounter in life, overcome, or cope with.
Groups often support and provide encouragement to one another outside the group setting. For interpersonal process groups, though, outside contacts may or may not be disallowed, depending on the particular group contract or agreements. Group therapy can be a helpful supplement to individual therapy. Some groups provide a place for members to work on interpersonal issues such as assertiveness or anger. This is called a “process” group. Other groups offer support for members who share a common experience, such as life transitions or grieving a loss. This is called a “support” group, although some degree of processing also occurs as the members interact with each other. I view group work as a “laboratory” in which members can gather information from each other through observation and feedback and use the information to practice new interpersonal skills or make desired changes in their own lives. Interpersonal process therapy groups offer a safe environment to identify and explore feelings; give and receive support and feedback; practice new, healthier ways of relating to others; and experience corrective interpersonal experiences. Numerous therapeutic/curative factors are common in process groups, including interpersonal learning, group cohesiveness, universality, and the opportunity to witness the recovery of others. Furthermore, interpersonal groups provide opportunities to assist others in their recovery, allowing participants to feel as if they have “given something back.” Interpersonal process groups are an appropriate treatment modality for clients with eating disorders; they assist clients in addressing cognitive distortions and self-criticism, and offer protection against the secrecy, shame, and isolation that often accompany eating disorders.
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