Group Therapy For Mental Health and SUD

Behavioral Health Services in Northern California

Group Therapy in Northern California

Our Group Therapy at Therapeutic Solutions is for individuals seeking help for their mental health or substance abuse disorder. There are many different options for group therapy. From Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Support Therapy Groups, group therapy is known to improve communication skills as well as better your social skills. Our programs will help you overcome your mental health disorder or substance abuse disorder.

Request an Appointment

Request an Appointment to Get Started With Therapeutic Solutions​

What Is Group Therapy?

The common assumption is typically correct on how group therapy and support groups are conducted and defined. It is the process of having more than one patient receiving therapy simultaneously and usually by the same therapist. There are some cases during the recovery stages, where there are two or more therapists who address the group.

It is generally for only special or unique situations that would require more than just one therapist to be present. Each therapy group’s sizes have a couple of different contributing factors that determine how many participants each session ultimately has.

The most significant factor being that some particular treatment efforts require larger or smaller groups than others. An excellent example of this is couples therapy. In couples therapy, there are usually no more than two clients. That differs from group therapy for drug and alcohol or other substance use disorders that frequently have ten or twelve people in each session.

Studies in the past have shown that the ideal number of people to participate in a group therapy session is recommended to be between 6 and 12 for maximum efficiency. Of course, circumstances change, and these suggested group sizes can vary to become larger or smaller to meet any specific or unique needs that are presented.

How Did Group Therapy Start?

Group therapy methods began as a reliable treatment option clear back in the 1920s by a physician named J.H. Pratt as he saw improvements in his patients who he was treated for tuberculosis.

During his years as a practicing physician, Pratt found that grouping patients together for therapy sessions provided many additional benefits to those who chose to participate in these group settings. The most notable of them is that many of the participant’s emotions start to become regulated because of the vast amounts of support and experiences shared among the rest of the group.

After implementing this new type of therapy and holding group therapy sessions, Pratt started to refer to this therapeutic practice as group psychotherapy. The popularity of therapy groups really took off in the years following World War II because of the large numbers of United States veterans that were starting to be treated together, and specific behavioral health benefits from these group therapy activities were observed.

Benefits of Group Therapy During Addiction Treatment

A couple of the more notable reasons why you, a close friend or family member might benefit from taking part in one form or another of group behavior therapy treatment include:

Because of the other members and their willingness to share their struggles within the group, there are many great opportunities provided where specific ideas can become known about how to handle certain situations. Many people have similar experiences, but not many people choose to handle those experiences in the same ways. So to hear a success story about a familiar struggle can be incredibly motivating and helpful, so someone who is right in the middle of great hardship in their life.

One of the rare luxuries that group therapy offers to its patients is the opportunity to receive support from others and return the favor and provide potential much-needed help to someone else in the group. The act of lending support to others gives provides a feeling of satisfaction and joy that may not have been felt for some time. Receiving support from others is also therapeutic because of the bonding trust that can be built between others that can last well after the therapy sessions end.

A kind of moral safety net is deployed during group therapy so that individuals who may otherwise hesitate to tell their story feel safe and comforted enough to discuss their weaknesses and other feelings that may make them feel vulnerable.

Generally speaking and in most cases, group therapy options are typically less expensive and more favorable to insurance providers than individual therapy options.

Well-organized group therapy provides the opportunity for individuals to develop or strengthen their self-awareness by intently listening to others in the group. Sometimes, it is comforting to know that other people out in the world made similar choices and that they do not have to go through struggles like substance abuse treatment and try to overcome their hardships alone.

Group therapy has been an excellent resource and proven to help people from all backgrounds develop the necessary communication skills in their life and career if needed. Meeting in these psychoeducational groups helps people establish new socialization skills that pave the way for learning to express their feelings and accept productive criticism from others.

Benefits of Group Therapy for Mental Health Disorders

Although the common perception of group therapy is that it is only beneficial to those during the addiction recovery process, there are also a number of significant advantages that group therapy activities provide to people being treated for mental illness. This is especially good news for many individuals who struggle with addiction because studies have shown that a majority of them also suffer from co-occurring disorders like anxiety or depression.

For a full and complete recovery from addiction and mental health disorders, a good deal of maintenance is required to maintain sobriety. A couple of the notable benefits that group therapy sessions have to those receiving treatment for a mental health disorder include:

Promotion of Social Skills

Group therapy provides participants the perfect opportunity for what they need to re-engage with other people. This is obviously extremely beneficial for those who struggle with a mental illness that caused them to spend the majority of their time isolated from others.

Provide Additional Supportive Resources

Studies have shown that when people are able to hear from other individuals and the issues that they may have struggled with, a sense of comfort is created because it becomes evident that they are not going through their problems alone.

Therapy Options Are Generally Less Expensive In Group Settings

There may be the misconception that group therapy is not as effective and individual therapy options because it is sometimes substantially less expensive. This concept could not be more false. Group therapy has proven time and time again to produce incredible results with people from all different backgrounds.

Patients Can Learn More About Themselves

Patti Cox, the president of the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society, has reported that one of the powerful benefits of these counseling settings is that each person who chooses to participate in group therapy sessions holds up a mirror so that you are able to see yourself through their eyes. This is an excellent way of identifying blind spots that had not been noticed previously.

What Type of Group Therapy Is Best For Me?

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) states that there are five standard group therapy practices that are frequently seen today. They include:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Groups

This includes evidence-based treatments to regulate a patient’s emotional response tendencies. Building new skills, anger management, conflict resolution, and relapse prevention are all examples of issues that would be addressed here.

Skills Development Therapy Groups

A lot of this therapy approach is similar to the aspects seen in cognitive behavioral therapy, but it also includes relaxation training and helps develop other necessary skills that are used in the average daily routine.

Psychoeducational Therapy Groups

Focusing on the importance of the roles of family and friends, health and wellness, and how to deal with trauma effectively are the top priority in this method.

Interpersonal Process Therapy Groups

Humanistic and existential topics, along with traumatic experiences of abuse or neglect and psychodynamics, are addressed when an individual participates in this therapy option.

Support Therapy Groups

Support therapy offers too many potential benefits to name. The bonds and relationships that are built during these sessions are cherished by many people and continue the connections for the rest of their lives.