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How Group Therapy Can Help Depression

It is important that depression is treated as soon as possible. If depression treatment is not sought on time it can trigger other mental and physical health problems. Mental conditions such as depression have been identified as some of the key factors that lead to alcohol and substance abuse.

Group therapy is one of the treatment options that available for people who are struggling with a mental condition or a substance abuse problem. To some sharing challenges with a group of people may seem like a scary prospect. However, this form of therapy has many benefits and is worth considering for people with depression.

Offering Support for Self Reflection

Qualified counselors and professionals often conduct group therapy. Contrary to common misconceptions, the sessions are not conducted between individuals in the group and counselors who take turns to share. There are interactions that happen between the group members under the supervision of a counselor.

Other individuals in the group will often offer their views in a non-judgmental and positive manner. This can help the individual reflect deeper about their problems. Individuals in the group can also encourage a member in the group who may be feeling shy or isolated.

You’re not Alone

Patients going through treatment for depression are prone to feeling isolated in their challenges. They see these challenges as unique to them and they may feel vulnerable and even ashamed about their problems.

Group therapy helps the patient undergoing treatment to realize that there are others who have similar problems. Even though each person in the group has a unique problem, the patient may be able to identify similar experiences that are similar to his or hers. This way group therapy gives individuals a sense of belonging.

Learn More About Yourself

Through group therapy, individuals can learn more about themselves through sharing. The patient voluntarily shares their experiences with the rest of the group. Often, people with these problems may not be completely aware of how they are feeling when they relieve their experiences. The counselor in the group encourages the participants to pay more attention to their emotions and thoughts during the process.  This is another way that group therapy serves as a mirror and a tool for self-reflection.

Social Bonds

Often people with mental conditions such as depression may choose to withdraw into their own world. This is partly because they feel that no one understands their situation. Their social network in the real world may be severed by issues related to the mental condition that they are trying to overcome. The patient may benefit from a group of positive and like minded individuals who are trying to overcome similar challenges.

Depression treatment is conducted in the safe atmosphere of group therapy. A qualified counselor is always there to ensure that the sessions are conducted professionally. In this environment, patients get positive feedback that can help them improve their social relations.

Group members may point out certain habits that may be affecting how the individual relates to others. For example, they may point out that the individual has a tendency to apologize for themselves and seek the approval of others. This is something that may have been oblivious to the patient struggling with depression.

Group therapy can also act as a safety net for people with other issues such as social anxiety. The group is a safe non-judgmental environment where the patient can share with other members without the intense feeling of discomfort they experience when sharing with others. The benefits of group therapy can go a long way in helping the patient live a fulfilling life long after  they have undergone treatment.