How Therapy for Multiple Patients can be Helpful
Group therapy is a fairly broad heading for different types of psychotherapy. It’s fairly simple to understand the purpose of group therapy. The conditions of individual patients are treated in a group setting – multiple patients with similar issues or conditions that require similar skills and treatment are addressed by a licensed therapist in a group setting.
Types of popular group therapy include:
- Support group therapy
- Family therapy
- Music therapy
- Any other form of therapy in which multiple patients are typically present
Group psychotherapy is similar to individual psychotherapy with the obvious difference being the environment in which issues are handled. If you are interested in any type of group psychotherapy, there are a few important things to keep in mind.
Finding a Group Therapist Who Will Work
As is the case with all types of standard therapy, a qualified therapist is essential for group therapy. Finding a certified therapist is easier with the help of certification organizations, which evaluate individual therapists to ensure that they’re qualified to offer the various types of group therapy that are available. Such organizations include the American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA), which offers tips and information on its certification procedures.
Various types of group therapy are handled differently, so finding a specialist is sometimes necessary, particularly for forms of group psychotherapy involving unconventional (though extremely effective) techniques. An example of this type of specialization would be music therapy, which can be very complex and requires an intricate understanding of modern music therapy techniques and theory. Many group therapists can refer their patients to colleagues who specialize in these fields.
Most forms of therapy require at least a graduate degree or a postgraduate degree. This is important because therapists need to understand human psychology and sociology; otherwise, they won’t be able to handle the challenges of group therapy, and they may actually end up exacerbating the issues of the group. Fortunately, it’s very easy to ask to see a therapist’s credentials. Look for a degree in psychology or sociology and ask whether the therapist has a list of his or her previous work. It’s best to find a therapist who has always worked professionally in psychotherapy fields.
Understanding the Advantages of Group Psychotherapy
In group therapy, patients can benefit from seeing the challenges of other group members. A very well-known example is the group therapy provided for recovering drug addicts, who are able to draw on the concepts and strengths of the group in order to reach their goals. However, the strength of a group isn’t confined to one form of therapy; virtually anyone can benefit from seeing their peers face the same challenges and problems.
Some group therapy environments are geared more towards addressing group problems than single patient problems, as is the case in family therapy. For these types of problems, group therapy is practically a necessity, as it will be very difficult or impossible for the therapist to see and address the problems of individual group members without seeing them as they act in a group setting.
Finally, group psychotherapy can be less expensive. Cost can be a major factor some patients, and the high efficacy and low cost of group therapy makes it a very good choice for some people.
If you have been considering group psychotherapy, speak with a professional. Group therapy can be extremely effective, and if you have a problem that is best treated through a group, it can be a life-changing way to address your conditions or issues.