There may be many reasons why someone can be nervous about joining a group. Many times, it is easier to see all of the possible cons to joining a group, let’s be honest it can be hard to open up to a group of strangers and share about some of our darkest moments, that being said we should also look at all the possible benefits that they can bring. Stick with me here as I share 5 benefits to group counseling.
- Gives a sense of being understood. Many times, when you have been going through a difficult time you can feel alone and misunderstood. A group setting can help you connect to others that may be in similar situations and help you see that you are not alone. Groups can give you the space to share and be heard.
- Community. To go along with the first point by helping you connect to people in similar situations as you this can foster a support network. This can be important especially if someone doesn’t have a strong support system available to them. You’re connecting to new people, groups can bring about healthy and supportive bonds. Sometimes it can feel easier to hear things from people in the group than it is to hear them from the counselor because you have that shared experience that helps form a strong community.
- Different Perspectives. Groups can help you get the perspectives of others that are going through similar experiences. Of course, the counselor will be there to help facilitate the group, but groups provide that space for collaboration. Sometimes hearing others share their experiences can help get us to a place where we can disconnect from our own problems and look at things more objectively. By listening to others, we can start to identify blind spots that we may not have discovered otherwise.
- Money. In a world where money matters, sometimes it can be difficult to receive individual services. Groups can be a cheaper alternative and still provide you with quality services. There are different group types and different costs. Many groups are even free.
- A time to learn and practice. Group can provide you with many new ideas and skills. Depending on what type of group you attend you will leave with something different. Let’s use an example of a group for people that struggle socially, attending group gives us the opportunity to learn socialization skills and also gives us the chance to practice them in a safe environment with others that struggle too.
There are so many more benefits to group counseling and for some of us we have to actually experience it and find our own benefits. It’s important to take the time to consider if a group is something we want to try, if you are already in counseling and are interested in learning more about groups, take the time to talk to you counselor and discuss whether this is a good option for you.