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Segar House - Rauaroha Outpatient Programme

Public Service, Mental Health

Group Therapy

Group therapy is a form of psychotherapy during which one or two therapists treat a small group of clients together as a group. This can be more cost effective than individual therapy, and is often more productive.


Quoted with permission is the report of one client:  

"What I got out of group therapy: I was treated with respect, listened to, not judged. I was able to say in "public" what my symptoms were and how I felt. I met other people who had what I had which relieved the feeling of isolation. I learned from the other members of the group what worked for them and copied the skills that worked for me. I got encouragement from the others when I wanted to die. I got compliments when I did well or said something they liked. I had a chance to give and get feedback. I got to hear myself think out loud as I vocally processed what I was dealing with, thus getting it clearer in my own mind."


In group therapy the interactions between the members of the group and the therapists become the material with which the therapy is conducted, alongside past experiences and experiences outside the therapeutic group. These interactions are not necessarily always positive as reported as above, as the problems which the client experiences in daily life will also show up in his or her interactions in the group. However, this allows them to be worked through in a safe and therapeutic setting, generating learning experiences which may be translated to "real life". Group therapy may also include other therapeutic forms than "talk" therapy, such as creative therapy and psychodrama. Group therapy is not based on a single psychotherapeutic theory, but takes what works from many.


Some of the many benefits of group therapy:

  •  Exploring issues in a social context more accurately reflects real life. 
  • Group therapy provides an opportunity to observe and reflect on your own and others' social skills. 
  • The development of hope is crucial to recovery; in group therapy observing the improvement of others gives participants great hope for their own improvement.
  • Group therapy provides the opportunity to learn that perhaps you are not as different as you think, or that you are not alone.
  • Group therapy provides an opportunity to benefit both through active participation and through observation.
  • Group therapy offers an opportunity to give and get immediate feedback about concerns, issues and problems affecting one's life. 
  • Group therapy members benefit by working through personal issues in a supportive, confidential environment and by helping others to work through theirs.


 Adapted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

You may wish to visit site of the American Group Psychotherapy Association: www.agpa.org/  and their information page: http://www.agpa.org/home/about-us

This page was last updated at 3:14PM on August 2, 2021.