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7 Unexpected Benefits of Group Therapy

Brannon Patrick

November 4, 2022

Unless you’ve been a part of group therapy, the idea might feel a bit outside your comfort zone—but this form of therapy has shown to be extremely beneficial for a wide variety of people. Group therapy provides unique tools and strategies for dealing with many challenges, including addiction, mental health issues, conflicts in interpersonal relationships, and more.

Group therapy can also come with several benefits that might surprise you. For example, Therapy Utah’s unique LIFT Program creates a community of people who can provide support for each other when overcoming difficult issues like sex addiction and betrayal trauma.

Here are a few more unexpected positives of going to group therapy. Have a look and learn more about how this approach could benefit you.

#1: Group Therapy Often Costs Less than Individual Therapy

One of the first things people think about when it comes to therapy is the potential cost associated with these services. However, group therapy services tend to be more affordable than individual therapy.

On average, people spend between $125 and $200 per session for individual therapy, whereas group therapy costs between $50 and $80 per session (although prices vary depending on each program). If finances are a deterrent to seeking help, looking into group therapy programs can be beneficial.

Therapist sitting in circle with two men in military uniform
Via Pexels.

#2: Group Therapy Builds Community

Although it may be uncomfortable to think about sharing your struggles with strangers, it can be comforting to remember that others are fighting their own battles. Joining group therapy promotes a sense of community by showing you you’re not alone. At Therapy Utah, we see strangers become life-long friends as they share the struggles that brought them to group therapy.

The individuals involved in group therapy are all experiencing similar issues. Hearing other people’s stories allows you to connect with others and provides a feeling of belonging. It also provides you with support, healthy feedback, and the safety needed to improve your life and relationships.

If you’ve never attended a group, you might have some anxiety about sharing your personal story with others—or you may feel a sense of relief that you finally have a safe space to share your story. Whichever experience, it is an incredible experience to find connection to meeting with individuals who turn from strangers into friends.

#3: Group Therapy Lets You Learn Social Skills

Group therapy interactions can help build social skills that are transferable to all areas of your life. Here are a few of the most important:

Social Awareness

Group therapy can help you gain better social awareness by learning when it is your turn to talk and reading others’ social cues. Groups can help you feel what scientists have discovered—“we are wired for connection.”

Group allows you the chance to feel seen and understood, while challenging you and building your confidence through practicing healthy relational skills. This process is guided by a trained therapist that navigates the journey of looking into your inner world so you can feel more comfortable in the outside world.

Active Listening

Group therapy can provide you with an environment to develop active listening skills, since you’ll be in structured situations designed to help you focus your attention on one speaker at a time. This helps you cultivate attentiveness and respect for other individuals as they share their challenges and successes within the group.

Conversational Skills

Group therapy also provides you with opportunities to receive and give encouragement when having small talk with other participants—before and after meetings or during breaks. Because you’ll be sharing meaningful experiences during group, these conversations can also help you become more comfortable expressing complicated thoughts and feelings, furthering your sense of community and belonging.

#4: Group Therapy is a Place for Self-Reflection

Some group therapists provide worksheets for group therapy members to manage their personal feelings about their difficulties. These tools for self-reflection can help you become more aware of who you are, boosting your confidence and improving your quality of life. Completing these worksheets can also help you see what areas of your life need more work, giving you insight for the next steps of your healing journey.

Group of people in circle with therapist looking at man with his face in his hands
Via Freepik.

#5: Group Therapy Promotes Emotional Healing

Group therapy provides a safe and confidential space to share your story or struggles. Utilizing this safe space to explore the details of what you’ve been through can assist in emotional healing.

When experiencing certain difficulties, such as addiction or mental health issues, it can be easy to retreat and bottle up your emotions, intensifying your internal battle. Group therapy intervenes in this cycle and allows emotional release. There is evidence that connecting and resonating with others helps regulate our emotions, providing health benefits both psychologically and physiologically.

#6: Group Therapy Helps Build Empathy

Being empathetic means you’re able to understand and share the feelings of another person. Being able to see another person’s point of view in a situation is beneficial for building social relationships and connecting with others.

Group therapy provides opportunities to become more empathetic to those experiencing similar struggles as you—but the empathy you build can also help you relate to other people in your life. Becoming more empathetic in group therapy often improves all your relationships by allowing you to build more intimacy and trust.

#7: Group Therapy Has Physiological Health Benefits

Dealing with difficulties in your life can lead to isolation and loneliness—especially without a sense of belonging or community. Loneliness has been linked to increased levels of stress which can negatively affect the functioning of your body’s immune system.

Group therapy offers the ability to form meaningful and fulfilling relationships with others—which can help our bodies fight stress and the problems it causes. High-quality relationships have been shown to increase our immune system and fight off diseases. In fact, having social support circles is even linked to increased survival rates in those with breast cancer.

Bright light above five people with their backs facing and arms around each other
Via Freepik.

Sharing is Healing

Group therapy offers a unique environment for overcoming difficulties in your life, but it also comes with many unexpected benefits. Trying group therapy could help you build empathy, improve your health, develop sharper social skills, and even find a new community where you feel like you belong.

No matter what difficulties you’re experiencing, Therapy Utah is here to help. From our individual therapy services to our expert led LIFT Program for people recovering from sex addiction and betrayal trauma, we have a wealth of resources you can use on your healing journey. Contact us today to learn more.

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