Group CBT Therapy Courses
“Giving individuals the opportunity to work together on internal psychological issues, through psycho-education, intervention and growth, resulting in deep personal change.”
Reaching Wellness offers disorder-specific group CBT therapy for up to 10 people at a time, running over treatment courses of 12 weeks. Examples of group topics are;
Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)
Groups are delivered for children, adolescents, and adults. Unlike individual CBT that focuses on helping clients improve through interventions from a therapist, group therapy allows people to observe others in the group, receive valuable feedback and benefit from social interactions from peers experiencing a similar problem. Before you consider if group therapy is for you, please read below which gives a description of CBT and the advantages and disadvantages of a group delivery of it.
What is CBT?
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that has been proven to help treat a wide range of emotional and physical health conditions in adults, young people and children. CBT looks at how we think about a situation and how this affects the way we act. In turn, our actions can affect how we think and feel and the way our body feels is also linked to our emotions and our thoughts.
There is a great deal of research and evidence to show that CBT works effectively in treating all anxiety disorders, specific phobias, OCD, depression, PTSD, trauma, emotional processing, self-esteem issues and a vast array of other mental health conditions and this research has been carefully reviewed by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).
Why group CBT Therapy
Group programs are based on standard cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) strategies and numerous cognitive behavioural group therapies for all ages have been well studied. Being part of a group gives participants access to a variety of resources and viewpoints, not just from the therapist but also from hearing other members talk about their problems. Group members find it easier to identify cognitive distortions (thinking errors) and have the chance to practice new strategies in a ‘real-life’ representation of society.
The therapist and group will work together in noticing whether their thoughts or behaviours are unhelpful for them and thinking about whether these could be modified. Group therapy is structured, with a clear agenda being presented at the beginning of every session, a review of the previous session to ensure learning and understanding is being taken from the sessions and the therapist and group will always work together to set goals and interventions that will best benefit everyone. All members will have a chance to speak in turn and the group will usually be given work to take for self-practice at home between sessions.
Advantages of Group Therapy
You’re Not Alone
When you’ve experienced or are experiencing anxiety, depression or other intense emotional situations, it can make you feel like you’re alone and that can lead to isolation – being part of a group of peers who are experiencing the same problem can reduce this.
Listening to other people share their experiences can give you perspective on your own situation. Sometimes the one thing we need to survive something distressing is hope – and an individual who has been where you are but has managed to overcome it, can be a powerful motivation for commitment to change.
A Network of Support
Sometimes the fear of being judged is what stops people from speaking out about their problems. A group setting gives you a safe place to discuss how you feel with people who can empathise due to experiencing similar problems.
Learn New Strategies
The group sessions will be facilitated by a therapist but sometimes even they cannot offer all the answers. Listening to your peers and the successful coping strategies they use or have used in the past can greatly assist the whole therapeutic process and in turn the chance of success in overcoming your problem.
Disadvantages of Group Therapy
Possible Personality Clash
A group of people can bring different personalities to the sessions; sometimes it is inevitable that individuals may clash with other group members.
Speaking In Front of a Group
Some clients who have social phobias or have experienced traumatic events may find it overwhelming to speak in a group.
Lack of Confidentiality
With an individual therapist, it is their legal obligation to keep your sessions confidential but with a group, the protection isn’t as legally binding. Each person in the group could potentially be the “breach” despite being asked that all sessions remain only between the group’s participants.
Need to Be High Functioning
In order to get the most out of group therapy, you need to be able to function from a stable level of cognition (thoughts). Individual assessments will be carried out before group selection and any clients who are suffering from suicidal thoughts or have experienced severe trauma will be recommended to undertake a more intensive one to one therapy program.