What Happens in Group Therapy? What To Expect

What Happens in Group Therapy What To Expect

Presented by BetterHelp

You’re probably already familiar with individual therapy, but group therapy might be a valuable option that you haven’t yet considered. Group therapy can be an incredibly helpful way for people to feel less alone and seek out companionship and help under the close care of a certified therapist.

Of course, when first approaching a group therapy scenario, you might feel nervous, especially if you are uncomfortable with the prospect of sharing intimate details about yourself in front of a group of peers.

Here are some things you can expect in group therapy. Hopefully, with more understanding, you can gain confidence before going into your first meeting.

Introductions and Ice Breakers

You will not have to share personal details with perfect strangers. This is because, in group therapy, your therapist will take the time to introduce you and everyone else to each other. You will also do activities that are designed to break the ice, and also build trust. Also note that you don’t have to share anything that you are not comfortable sharing, and you can take all the time you need to build a relationship with your group and your therapist.


Once you are comfortable sharing, you will have the chance to speak a bit about your experiences. Usually, group therapy is centered around a specific need. Maybe you are in a group of other people with an anxiety disorder, depression, or an addiction. Group therapy is intentionally designed this way to help you feel less alone and learn from other people’s experiences as well as your own. Check out BetterHelp to learn more about the effectiveness of group therapy and your options with this particular type of therapy model.

Role Plays

If there is a conversation that you’ve always wanted to have, but never had the chance, then you might be able to replicate that conversation in therapy. For example, maybe you want to work through grief by speaking with someone you’ve lost. In group therapy, either your therapist or another trusted friend could have that conversation with you and respond in ways that are appropriate and healing.

Goal Setting And Keeping Up With Progress

In group therapy, you can also talk about specific goals that you have in mind for your future, and that group can help hold you accountable. Usually, group therapy sessions meet on a regular basis. This regular scheduling gives people in the sessions the opportunity to speak to each other at timed intervals and check in on your progress and change. There also might be celebrations involved when you meet a goal.

Therapeutic Education

A therapist or counselor can also talk to the group about therapeutic techniques that can help you overcome certain issues. They can teach you, for example, the most recent research about how to mind works. You can then use these tips and ideas to apply to your own life.

Relaxation and Visualization Exercises

Depending on the type of therapy that your counselor practices, you might also have the chance to breathe and calm down. If you experience difficult emotions in everyday life, then group therapy can be the perfect chance to find a safe space where you can unwind. You can also take these methods back into your daily life and apply them to stressful or difficult moments.

Practicing Emotional Skills

Many of the tough emotions that you feel can be tied to habits. Maybe anxious responses have become a habit for you, for example, or arguing with your partner. Those habits can be broken through techniques like conflict resolution, communication, and emotional regulation. Group therapy can give you the chance to practice those skills and expand on them so that when you encounter real-life scenarios that can be triggering or hard, you know how to respond.

What Happens in Group Therapy? What To Expect
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