We are all born into a group and function in groups daily. Group psychotherapy, like individual psychotherapy, is intended to help people who would like to improve their ability to cope with difficulties and problems in their lives. Group therapy helps illuminate the emotional difficulties and encourage the personal development of each participant. Members discover how others feel the way they do, that they are not alone, that they can be a part of new and healthier “family” system, and that they belong.
As group members gain trust and interact more freely with each other, they use and recreate the same relational patterns and styles that have hindered them in their lives. Members can receive feedback on how they are perceived by others, which gives them valuable information about how they relate in the outside world. With this newly acquired insight, members can work on relational matters in a safe environment, such as appropriately telling someone they are angry at them or that they have fear of embarrassment around certain topics. Members have the opportunity to safely explore the difference between impact vs. intent in their interactions and learn to make connections with others with more clarity and purpose. Group therapy has shown to be a valuable and effective adjunct to individual therapy.