Group psychotherapy is for people who want to improve their ability to handle problems and difficulties in their lives. As the name suggests, the therapy is conducted in the form of a meeting where a group of people meet and the entire session is facilitated by a therapist.
Usually group psychotherapy concentrates on the way people react to each other and that is why it is helpful in addressing relationship problems.
The main aims of group psychotherapy are to help the participants solve their emotional problems and promote personal development. Only those candidates who will be benefitted by this kind of therapy and will have an influence on other participants are selected for group psychotherapy. Usually there are 8 to 12 participants in a group as more than this number will make it difficult for the therapist to create a therapeutic environment and pay individual attention to each member.Group Psychotherapy Norms:
It is necessary for participants to share their personal problems. Each participant is encouraged to talk about events that occurred during the week, what problems he faced and how he handled those problems. Participants are also encourage to talk about their feelings and thoughts about previous sessions and other participants can react to the feedback, support or criticize these participants.
Usually when it comes to group therapy, the facilitator does not have fixed subject in mind and discussions are left up to the group. This way each individual feels that he is not alone with his problems and there are others who also share the same problems. However, participants are not forced to reveal any intimates issues if they do not want to. But the more a participant takes part in the discussions, talks about his feelings and thoughts, the more he is bound to benefit.
Participants are expected to attend each session and be present on time. Therefore, at the beginning of the therapy, it is made clear to the participants that they have to commit for a specified length of time. Usually this commitment is between 3 and 6 months.
Usually group therapists belong to professional associations and in the US, a therapist can have a membership of the American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA) with a certification as a group therapist from the AGPA. This can assure you of the therapist's abilities to conduct group psychotherapy.
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