Types of Group Therapy and Its Benefits

A top down view of a group of people sitting in a circle. This could represent the therapeutic support group therapy in Tampa, FL can offer. Search for a group therapist in Tampa, FL to learn more about group therapy in St. Petersburg, FL, and other services.

When on a mental wellness journey, there are several types of therapy one might explore.

This month, we’re talking about group therapy. Defining it, as well as recognizing its benefits and whether or not it might be right for you. 

A close up of people putting their hands in a pile while smiling at the camera. This symbolizes the unity and support a community can offer via group therapy in Tampa, FL. Learn more about men’s group therapy in Tampa, FL, and other services like a grief support group in Tampa, FL todayGroup therapy is simply a group of people with shared mental health goals meeting together under the supervision of a licensed clinician to provide support and treatment toward their mental health goals.  

Comparing Individual and Group Therapy

Individual therapy is important and extremely helpful in helping someone identify the mental health concerns they need to address in their lives, as well as how to do so. But, group therapy offers a unique supportive component that individual therapy does not. In individual therapy, the client or patient does draw support from their clinician, but not at a peer level. 

When engaged in group therapy, we have the opportunity to connect with others who share similar struggles, concerns, and even past traumas. We’re able to hear from people who may have had a similar experience to ours, or who are further down the road to healing and recovery than we might be. Or, we have the opportunity to share our knowledge from our journey with others who may just be starting. 

If we learned anything from quarantining during COVID, one of the most prominent things was the need for community.

Working through any mental health struggle alone can be not only discouraging but damaging. While individual therapy does give us the tools to implement in our day-to-day life, helping us to overcome the challenges we’re facing as a result of our mental health, participating in group therapy can elevate that healing as we sit in it with others who know (at least in some part) what we’re going through. While our individual therapists may be educated in the area we’re struggling with and have experience treating it, they haven’t necessarily been through it. 

You may be reading this and wondering why you need a support group if you have friends or family members who have similar experiences as you. You may be asking yourself why you can’t just grab a glass of wine or a cup of coffee with friends, share your struggles, and find healing in that type of environment. While sharing those experiences with people close to you may be important to your journey, the added benefit of a support group is that it’s led by a qualified therapist who can offer clinical expertise in tandem with the community and shared experience you receive from the others in the group. 

Several types of mental health concerns benefit greatly from a group therapy setting. While there can be some overlap, there are three broad types of groups.

Support Groups:

Generally speaking are aimed at fostering coping and paper support. They may have less formal structure and facilitation. These are typically not covered by insurance. These tend to be ongoing and not have defined start and end times. 

Therapy Groups:

More traditional group “therapy” can vary and could combine elements of support and/or psychoeducation but is also focused on change through professional facilitation, goal-oriented discussions, and therapeutic techniques. These groups are more likely to be covered by insurance. These tend to be ongoing and not have defined start and end times. 

Psychoeducational Groups:

A group of people sit in a circle while listening to someone talking. Learn how group therapy in Tampa, FL can offer support by contacting a group therapist in Tampa, FL. They can help you address mental health concerns in a grief support group in Tampa, FL, and more. These are often time-limited more structured groups where each session has a specific focus and/or topic and structure that involves teaching specific skills or strategies and therapeutic information. They can be combined with a therapy component or can be just educational in nature. If therapeutic interventions and practices are a part of the group then it would be considered more of a therapy group rather than a solely psycho-educational group. These are usually for a specific number of meetings. 

Common Subtypes of Support Groups: 

Addiction Recovery Groups:

These are extremely effective due to the added accountability they provide. It’s imperative that someone struggling with addiction receive individual therapy to get to the deep-rooted cause of their addiction and receive the proper tools to turn to. But, adding a group therapy approach to their treatment provides a level of accountability with others who understand that struggle personally. It also offers a level of encouragement for those struggling to see not only that their struggles are not unique to them only, but also that the victories others have had are attainable for them, as well. 

Grief Support Groups:

These groups can be especially helpful early on, during the holidays, or other times that we’re missing our loved one the most. Anyone who has experienced the death of a loved one knows all too well that grief often washes over like a wave when we least expect it. And while working through the feelings associated with that grief is a very personal journey, inviting others on that journey with us can lead to breakthroughs we may not reach on our own. 

Men’s Support Groups:

This form of support group is another beneficial resource, as many men are hesitant to reach out to receive mental health help on their own. The pressure put on men to be strong often paints those receiving mental health care as weak, deterring them from getting the help they need. In our next blog, Dr. Sarah Carpenter will go over the specific ways group therapy can help men who are struggling. 

Women’s Support Group:

These can be general or focused on a specific area such as post-partum support, empowerment, relationships, and stress.

Common Subtypes of Therapy Groups

Process & Interpersonal Groups:

These are ongoing therapeutic groups where a group of people meet with one, sometimes two therapists (facilitators) and share their struggles and concerns. The goal is to provide an opportunity to receive multiple perspectives, support, encouragement, and feedback from other individuals in a safe and confidential environment.

Teen Therapy Groups:

These are beneficial in that they provide a social outlet for teens who oftentimes feel very isolated in their struggles. In a social media world where most of us only present our best selves, and with an age group that surely spends more time comparing themselves to their peers than any generation before them, the skewed perception they see through that social media lens is so prominent. Engaging in group therapy, in a setting where they can share with and hear from others of a similar age, with similar struggles, is encouraging and can help them understand that they are not alone. 

Common Subtypes of Psychoeducational Groups:

DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) Skills Groups are usually run weekly, like a class, which teaches skills across four main topics: mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance skills. Usually, clients are required to complete homework assignments in which they practice the skills taught during the weekly lesson

A close-up of a person gesturing with their hands while sitting in a circle with other people. Learn how group therapy in St. Petersburg, FL can offer support by contacting a group therapist in St. Petersburg, FL today. They can offer group therapy for men in St. Petersburg, FL and other services. CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) Skills Groups similarly are regular meetings where each week is focused on a different cognitive behavioral skill or strategy or several skills that may target a particular type of symptom (anxiety, anger, depression, etc.)

Anger Management groups are also typically weekly groups that meet for a specific time and review specific skills and strategies for managing anger. 

Begin Group Therapy in Tampa, FL, St. Petersburg, FL, and Across the State

You don’t have to navigate mental health concerns. Whether it be with an individual therapist or a therapy group, you deserve support in addressing the issues affecting you most. Our team of caring therapists would be happy to offer support from our Tampa, FL-based practice. You can start your therapy journey by following these simple steps:

  1. Contact Wellness Psychological Services 
  2. Meet with a caring therapist from our team
  3. Start getting the restorative benefits of communal support!

Other Services Offered with Wellness Psychological Services

Group therapy isn’t the only service our team offers at Wellness Psychological Services. We are happy to provide support for a variety of mental health concerns through individual therapy. Other services offered include support for couples, divorce discernment, support through divorce, and mediation for couples. We are also happy to provide mental health support via anxiety treatmenttrauma therapydepression counselingOCD treatment, stress management, and testing and evaluation services. In addition, we also offer support with eating disorder treatment,  PCIT therapy, DBT, child therapy, therapy for professionals, and health psychologyFeel free to learn more by visiting our blog page or FAQ!

205 S. Hoover Blvd. Ste 202
Tampa, FL 33609

(813) 563-1155

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