Psychotherapy, which is also sometimes known as “talk therapy,” is basically defined as treating mental conditions through psychological means rather than using medicine. Depending on the circumstances, psychotherapy can often involve much more than simply talking and being counseled.
Group psychotherapy refers to undergoing the above treatment as part of a larger body of individuals; who all seek the same kind of treatment in the company of others.
There are many forms psychotherapy can take; with some being more suitable for different conditions than others. Here are five types of psychotherapy that people can utilize:

  • Cognitive
  • Equine-assisted
  • Interpersonal
  • Psychodynamic
  • Transference-focused

Some methods such as transference-focused psychotherapy — designed for those who suffer from severe personality disorders — may be more suitable at an individual level, whereas others dealing with depression and anxiety have been highly successful in a group setting.
These treatments stand out from one another by employing different psychotherapy techniques. For example, equine-assisted psychotherapy uses horses as the primary tool for treating patients, which is something entirely unique to it.

Group psychotherapy

The Pros

It’s a judgment-free zone

Even when the others participants have not had the same experiences as you and are therefore unable to relate, group psychotherapy provides you with a place to speak your mind without worrying about being judged.
Judgment is one thing people worry about when weighing whether to try group therapy or not. And quite often, there will be a few of the other participants worrying about the same thing, so consider yourself as not being alone.
Therapy in general, and group therapy in particular is intended to be a safe space for everyone. For that reason, policies are put in place to create a conducive environment.

It is confidential

Patients have the common concern that their privacy will be at stake should they participate in group psychotherapy. It is an ethical and professional requirement for all therapy sessions to be confidential. For this reason, the therapist makes all members sign an informed consent document containing information about the privacy policies and the reasons how your confidentiality can be broken.
Everything said and shared during a session is not allowed to leave the room, aside from a few instances by the therapist.

The Cons

It is not for everyone

While group psychotherapy is acclaimed by millions of participants all over the world for being as enjoyable as it is effective, it is not ideal for everyone.
This type of setting will not work for someone who deals with social anxiety because even though it’s intended to be a comfortable and judgment-free zone, (s)he might feel pressure and increased tension in this type of setting. BetterHelp has a lot more to say about this.

Gives less personal attention

One-on-one therapy sessions have a clear advantage in the sense that all of the time allotted is dedicated to you.
In group therapy, however, while speaking up is encouraged — and you will be able to get a chance to speak — there is limited time as there are additional people in the room who need to speak too. Because of this, you just might not be able to say all that you need to say as well as receive a well-detailed input, as compared to a one-on-one meeting.
On the other hand, since others are speaking up too, you may not need to bring up a relatable issue once it’s been addressed for another participant.

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This article on group psychotherapy is part of a series is developing to educate the public about mental health.
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