Group therapy is a great way to learn how to relate to others better, be yourself, and form authentic and meaningful bonds with others. Group therapy provides a safe environment in which to explore emotions and gain skills that change every relationship, from those in the workplace to those at home.
Group therapy has roughly two goals: 1) To help you improve your social skills such as emotional awareness, setting boundaries, individuation, seeking connection, expressing frustrating and anger, receiving loving attention, and communicating warmth and empathy toward self and others. And 2) To gain insight into your own behavior, the roots of your relationship style, how your family history shapes your way with others, and automatic reactions you have to others. There are other benefits as well, however, such as developing greater comfort in a group, becoming more authentic in your self-identity and in how you present ourselves to others, the healing benefits of bonding with a small group dedicated to growth and exploration, and the accountability the group provides to help you reach your goals.
Group therapy works in a variety of ways. One way is through the facilitation and shared insights of the therapist who is the group leader. But perhaps even more powerful are the reactions and feedback received from group members. Unlike individual therapy, group therapy offers multiple opinions from different people around the ways we relate to others. Such feedback can be invaluable, especially if relationships have been a sticking point in one’s life.
Group therapy also offers an opportunity to expand qualities such as patience, acceptance, and empathy for a broad range of individuals. One learns how to understand and relate to those whose personalities we may generally struggle with in life. Attachments may be formed, much like in a family of diverse individuals, conferring benefits such as increased psychological flexibility, emotional regulation capacity, and the skill to handle even sensitive topics of conversation effectively.