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3 Things to Expect If You’re Considering Group Treatment

3 Things to Expect If You’re Considering Group Treatment

Group treatment, an affordable option for mental health care, is one where you receive counseling services in a group setting with others experiencing similar issues. Group counseling can often be significantly less expensive that individual services, but is this option right for you? In this article, we’ll take a look at what you can expect if you choose this treatment option.

It isn’t going to be just about you

When you start participating in group treatment, you’ll most likely meet privately with your therapist to assess your reasons for seeking treatment and ensure that your needs are consistent with the purpose of the group. Once you start group treatment, though, the focus will be working to build a positive and balanced environment in which group members can share, give feedback, and support one another in their journey to achieving their goals.

It may not be the best fit depending on your needs

Group treatment is a wonderful modality for those who are stable but who need support with a specific treatment issue (such as substance abuse recovery, social anxiety, grief/loss, etc.) However, if you are in crisis or are dealing with a debilitating mental health issue, group treatment may not be appropriate until your condition stabilizes.

It’s much harder to access group treatment

In higher population areas, groups are usually available more often; in rural areas, you may need to travel a significant distance to locate services. That’s because groups are generally less popular than one-on-one treatment, not all practitioners are comfortable facilitating groups, and many groups are “closed,” meaning they start and end with a cohort of participants that won’t allow new members until the next group forms.

If you decide to seek out this treatment option, the best place to look is by researching local practice webpages or contacting your local community mental health facility to see if groups are being offered and for what presenting issues. Remember - participation in this can be an empowering and cathartic experience, but it feels very different than meeting one-on-one with a practitioner.

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Jennifer Novack
Posted on 07/24/2017 by Jennifer Novack

Jennifer is a writer for OpenCounseling. She has worked at a number of state and non-profit organizations, providing counseling, training, and policy development