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What's Group Therapy Like?


AintNoHer0

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  • 2 weeks later...

Generally your in a room of a group of people (Sometimes small or large groups, formed in a circle), Topics are discussed and sometimes there's a group activity involved.

If you struggle with social anxiety I recommend going through individual therapy first.

Edited by Ashlization85
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  • 2 weeks later...

It's not really what I thought it would be I guess, it's all the same bullsh!t I've heard time and time again, only with more people. Its not like you're not allowed to talk but if no one did it would still carry on cause the person in charge is talking through the sheets of useless info they're handing out.

Most of the people there do talk but I just can't bring myself too and it annoys me that I can't and when the ones that always talk do I find that annoys the fcuk out of me too. I feel guilty for it, but I'm not a nice person I should start accepting that more maybe that would make me feel better..

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  • 4 weeks later...

As mentioned its more of a support group, but it is generally less beneficial then cognitive behavioral therapy or other forms of psychotherapy. This is because you may feel reluctant to share as depression is often marked by a desire to isolate ones self.

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I have mixed feelings about group. I think we do the best we can given everything influencing us at the moment. I think you will make the best decision you can given everything going on. Not being in your shoes, I don't feel I can second-guess your decision whichever way you decide. Decisions can usually be changed later when circumstances seem different. I want to wish you the best, whatever decision you make AintNoHer0 !

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  • 1 month later...

Well this is an old thread but I have my own experience and opinion about group therapy. Essentially I dislike it. In almost all groups I've been in, I can never talk. Many times this is because one or two people take over the group, are more aggressive than me, and they do all the talking while I remain silent. The facilitator is supposed to do something about this an let everyone have a chance to talk but my experience is that has not happened. So I hate groups. I also find myself bored to tears listening to other's issues. Also I have found myself feeling irritated by the other group members. I guess I don't like being around people that much.

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  • 4 years later...

Recycling an old conversation rather than starting anew. Is it environmentally responsible to do that? A praiseworthy value, doing my bit for a sustainable forum ecology? Alright, that's meant to be silly - there's useful info already on this topic and I want to add to it.

For several years I've been been taking part in group therapy clases. Lots of them. For depression, anxiety, CBT, DBT, ACT and a process therapy group so I have some words to share. 

Classroom-type group therapy is led by one or two therapists, you're given material to read and everyone takes his or her turn reading some of it aloud. Classes typically are 10-14 people and that number dwindles as the weeks pass (if you're suffering greatly from symptoms, you know why that is). Completing the class typically takes between 6 and 12 weeks, they will meet once per week for about 2 hours. There will be homework. If the therapists are any good at being facilitators they won't allow anyone to use discussion time like their individual therapy. They won't let a discussion get out of hand, arresting it at the first sign of a trigger. Like it is on this forum, certain issues brought up by others in class will be of interest to you and some won't and some you'll just roll your eyes at. You will get to know the people in your class based on participation and like here, the more you choose to participate the better results you can expect. 

DBT programs are different. Classes run 2 hours but the program goes on for an entire year, broken into 4 modules. They require more commitment and if you miss more than a set number of meetings, you'll likely be dropped. It's more comprehensive, a more difficult program schedule-wise to commit to. In addition to the weekly class you will also meet individually with a therapist for coaching. This is to ensure you're understanding the skills and trying to use them effectively in your life. There are a great many skills to learn. 

A process therapy group is also therapist-led but unlike a class, there's little or no written material. Groups are typically smaller, 4-8 individuals, it meets once per week for 1-2 hours and it usually doesn't have a set end date. It functions similar to a support group - everyone checks in, mumbles something briefly about their week and indicates if they might want additional time once check-ins are over. Like here, you can discuss almost anything and the moderator will intervene when appropriate. A smaller group means more familiarity and eventually, more intimacy. You might not suspect you could ever say aloud anything too personal, too painful when strangers are in your midst. As it happens, familiarity fosters a sense of security and it might surprise you what rolls off your tongue. Because it's open topic, sometimes someone's sharing will trigger somebody else. When that happens, you will... detect an atmosphere in the room - or to put it bluntly, things will get lively and loud and somebody may get up and head for the door. It's times like that when a skilled facilitator will intervene. Like this forum, once you get familiar with the people you'll feel more interested in their lives and struggles and will have something to say to them. 

If you never thought you'd consider group therapy, maybe you'll reconsider if given the opportunity. Especially if you've posted on these forums and found the back-and-forth to be helpful and encouraging. 

I understand that those who suffer from severe social anxiety may want to avoid group therapy. I also understand that the anonymity of online support forums encourages openness and this isn't neatly translated into real life discussions. Yet there are similarities and both are useful - at least for me.

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Every group therapy experience I’ve ever had never went anywhere. Either everyone was too reluctant or too disinterested to share anything. I have been in mental health wards a handful of times, and was once in a six week outpatient program, both in which you are in groups practically all day. I swear, I never knew specifically what brought any of these people to these places. It was almost surreal. In between groups, everyone would chat about trivial things. The therapist, social worker, or whatever it is that leads the group would do most of the talking. It almost always generic advice about how to handle stress. Or you would play a kindergarten-level game, or be assigned to draw something relating to some vague theme.

Edited by SqueezeWax
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