Group Psychology is an area of mental health specialties that prepares group leaders to identify and capitalize on developmental and healing possibilities embedded in individual group members’ interpersonal functioning to benefit a group.
In such settings, the emphasis is on group dynamics and the role of individuals and leaders in a group, and how they treat and address individual members.
Group-based psychology is suitable for children and adults, various conditions and concerns, and numerous and diverse settings.
Group psychology helps addresses problems, issues, or concerns within several settings addressed by the group, including emotional and mental disorders, behavioral problems and concerns, interpersonal relating and communications difficulties, life transitions, support and development of coping and managing skills development for conditions, and trauma, crisis, and even stress.
The assessment process includes individual assessment and group assessment. According to the American Psychological Association, individual assessment emphasizes assessing the individual’s appropriateness for the particular group, “such as level of interpersonal skills and the capacity to engage in group process, and psychological assessment of issues, motivation, diagnoses and similar issues related to successful outcomes.”
Group assessment includes evaluating factors for those in the group, including climate, cohesion, dynamics, and how people in the potential group relate.
The intervention promotes positive changes for emotional, cognitive, relational, and physical well-being using evidence-based strategies. Integration of theories, such as interpersonal, behavioral, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and commitment therapy (ACT), is applied to conditions, issues, and concerns.
Consultation includes specialists in group psychology providing consultation with other health professionals, medical hospitals, military, and veteran’s facilities, schools, business, sports and athletic professionals, rehabilitation facilities, and religious and churches.
The Pros of Group Psychotherapy
According to BetterHelp, there are multiple benefits of joining group therapy. It is good because it offers individuals an opportunity to meet others and provides a support network.
Group psychotherapy can be significant to the healing process and overcoming obstacles. Group sessions are usually medium-sized, which gives room for everyone to share their thoughts.
Group therapy also creates a place for individuals to speak their minds without worrying about being judged. Worrying about what others might think is a common issue people have when weighing whether to try group therapy or not.
Group therapy is designed to be a safe space for everyone, and often there are policies put in place to create that environment. In group therapy, listening can be as therapeutic as speaking. It can help individuals feel more open to talking about a particular issue if they find something they can relate to.
Therapists don’t force group members to speak, nor are they allowed to make you feel uncomfortable, to make patients comfortable. By doing so, they may eventually open up to talking about their issues.
All therapy sessions are required by law to remain confidential. Thus, all information shared during a group session can’t leave the therapy room, except in rare instances by the therapist. Confidentiality is taken extremely seriously.
Therapists have each group member sign an informed consent document containing information about the privacy policies and how your confidentiality can be broken. This informed consent will ask the group members to keep the things discussed in the group private for group therapy.
Cons of Group Psychotherapy
There are a few potential drawbacks to group therapy depending on the individual participating in it.
In group therapy, individuals can speak as appropriate, and it’s encouraged. Still, there are several people in the room, and there is a limited time specifically for an individual’s challenges. Because of this, group members may not be able to say as much as they would like nor receive as detailed input as they may like, compared to an individual meeting.
Group sessions can also be more prone to individual members’ attendance issues, which makes scheduling sessions a challenge.
If group sessions become too intimidating, one-on-one sessions for individuals are likely a better alternative. Individuals receive the same quality treatment and confidentiality but catered to an individual’s needs.