Three benefits to joining a support group or therapy group during the winter months.
If you’ve seen movies like Wreck-It-Ralph, Austin Powers, or Patch Adams, then group therapy may be something you placed on your list of things to never do, right alongside skydiving and swimming with sharks (unless you’re into that). Maybe you’ve cast it to the side because it’s for them and not you. The truth is, group therapy is for everyone and helps people everywhere.
Here are just three of the benefits there are to joining a group.
Group mentality is often thought of as being bad (that’s because it can be). Professor of Behavioral Science and Marketing at the University of Chicago, Dr. Ayelet Fishbach, wrote in a 2011 research paper that people’s commitment to a group affects commitment to a goal differently depending on how the goal is framed.
As you actively participate in group therapy sessions you can enter an atmosphere where everyone there is feeling the same things that you are and oftentimes striving to achieve similar goals.
There are few better feelings out there than validation. A group provides a chance for you to express your challenges and thought processes with others who are experiencing the same things as you. When battling bouts of depression or other predicaments, it’s easy to begin to feel isolated. Groups help you remember that there are others fighting alongside you. In a healthy group, you’ll be able to experience different perspectives on your situation and get feedback on different ways to continue on, from people who have tried them. Some of the people in your group session may be meeting with an individual therapist. That multiplies the knowledge and counsel you can get as people share with you what their therapist shared with them.
Groups provide a supportive atmosphere for you while on a path to understanding yourself. Blind spots and biases are natural, but we can allow them to limit us as we are growing. Being in a group and interacting with others can help unveil those blind spots and may improve your ability to make changes in your life.
In sum, groups can provide a level of motivation that individual sessions can’t always manifest. Groups don’t exist to replace individual sessions, but to add to them. From support to self-discovery, being involved with a tribe of people that understand and are currently experiencing your situation can prove to be a powerfully encouraging force.
To learn more about the groups being offered here at the BYU Comprehensive Clinic, go here: cc.byu.edu/groups