Group therapy is gaining in popularity, thanks to the fact that it has proven to be both cost-effective and just as beneficial as individual therapy, according to a 2012 article from the American Psychological Association.
In the article, Dr. Gary Burlingame, a professor of psychology at Brigham Young University, cited more than 50 clinical trials that compared patients who were assigned to group therapy or individual therapy, all of which showed that both types of therapy worked equally well for improving people’s mental health.
Despite its proven effectiveness, some people are hesitant to try group therapy because they are afraid to talk about their inner-most thoughts in front of a roomful of strangers. But, Dr. David Daskovsky, Senior Psychologist at Yellowbrick, says group therapy can be enormously helpful to those who are willing to give it a try.
Groups can be especially helpful for young adults who are in a life stage where they are establishing their own identity. “Young adulthood is a time when people are defining themselves. They’re dealing with issues of belonging, and trying to figure out how they can integrate themselves into a new social world.”
That’s why the young adults at Yellowbrick participate in group therapy several hours a week — sometimes in groups focused on inter-personal processes, sometimes in psycho-educational groups, sometimes in groups focused on specific issues such as trauma, addiction or eating disorders.
Most group therapy sessions, at Yellowbrick and in other settings, feature about five to 10 people facilitated by one or two therapists. Typically, group members are encouraged to jump into the conversation and share their own thoughts and give feedback to others in the moment.
So what exactly are the benefits of group therapy? Here are a few ways group therapy can help you:
Yellowbrick collaborates with adolescents and emerging adults, ages 16-30's, their families and participating professionals toward the development and implementation of a strategic “Life Plan.” An integrative, multi-specialty consultation clarifies strengths, limitations, and risks, and defines motivations, goals and choices.
A mental health condition that’s characterized by intense shifts in mood including both manic and depressive episodes.
People living with Major Depressive Disorder, or MDD, experience episodes of depression and sadness that are debilitating to daily life.
Those living with anxiety disorders experience high levels of anxiety and stress that interfere negatively with daily life.
A mental health issue in which a person’s cognitive function is impaired, resulting in symptoms like experiencing challenges with conducting speech, reading and writing, and behavior.
Mental health disorders that negatively affect a person’s behaviors, thought patterns, and function. People diagnosed with these disorders experience challenges with managing relationships and understanding various situations.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition that people can develop as a result of experiencing traumatic situations, characterized by symptoms including flashbacks, avoidance behaviors, and more.
A mental health condition that is characterized by specific symptoms of forgetfulness and lack of concentration, which makes it challenging to complete necessary tasks.
Mental health conditions that interfere with a person’s eating habits, thought patterns, and behaviors in negative ways.
A mental health disorder diagnosable with the DSM-5 that is characterized by both obsessions and compulsive behaviors.