Group Counseling is one of the forms of counseling. In group counseling, approximately 3-8 individuals meet face-to-face with trained group therapists. During the group meeting time, members are responsible for talking about what is troubling them. Discussion flows according to what members would like to talk about — the group leaders do not, for the most part, assign topics for the group to discuss. Members are encouraged to give support and feedback to others, and to work with the responses and associations that other members’ contributions bring up for them.
Group work usually begins with a focus on the establishment of trust. Members work to establish a level of trust that allows them to talk personally and honestly. Group trust is enhanced when all members make a commitment to the group. Groups can be especially helpful for people who have concerns about their relationships.
Some common concerns of group members include loneliness or isolation, shyness, dependence in relationships, superficial relationships and/or a lack of intimacy, frequent disagreements with others, discomfort in social situations, difficulty trusting others, being easily hurt or offended, needing a lot of reassurance from others, and fear of being left or abandoned.
Group therapy is the treatment of choice for several other concerns as well. There is evidence for the effectiveness of group treatment for the following issues:
- Anxiety and Panic
- Chronic Pain and Illness
- Eating Disorders
- Social Anxiety and other Interpersonal Problems
- Substance Abuse
- Traumatic Experiences
- Parenting Group