When it comes to treating mental health issues, practitioners and patients have a wide variety of options, including medication, therapy, and lifestyle interventions. And, within each of those categories of treatment, there are further options, such as the type and dosage of medication, the most suitable form of therapy, or which lifestyle changes are likely to help you the most.
At Apex Medical Center, our providers work to make sure they tailor a treatment plan that fits your problem, life, and helps you meet your goals. Often, patients who come in for psychiatric or psychological treatment benefit from group therapy, but are reluctant because myths about group counseling abound in popular culture.
Myth: Group counseling is not as useful as individual counseling
One of the most pervasive myths we encounter is that group counseling doesn’t work as well as individual counseling. In fact, the two types of therapy offer distinct benefits, and it’s possible your treatment plan could include both.
In group counseling, you may find there are other people who share your problem, and it can be powerful to realize that you’re not alone. You may also find that other group members’ successes inspire and encourage you.
Sometimes hearing other points of view can also be helpful. People with similar problems may have an approach that never occurred to you.
Myth: You have to share
Another common misconception is that you have to share in a group setting. You may not be able to tolerate the idea of discussing your most personal issues, thoughts, and experiences with a group of strangers. The good news is that you don’t have to!
In some sessions, the topic may be one that you’re comfortable with and you’ll have plenty to share. In others, you may benefit the most from careful listening rather than contributing.
We work to make sure that group counseling is a safe environment, but we know that it can take some time for you to be comfortable. And that’s okay.
Myth: You’ll be judged by the group members
People in group counseling are there because they need counseling — which is to say, because they have problems. Generally, people in group counseling have similar kinds of problems. That fact alone discourages harsh judgments.
Also, group leaders and counselors are trained in building a safe environment where members are comfortable and trust one another. It’s designed to be a supportive environment.
All of that is not to say there’s never criticism or feedback in a group setting. There may be, but it’s offered in a supportive, gentle way and with respect.
Ready to find out more?
If your provider has suggested group counseling but you’re unsure, we encourage you to ask questions. Talk to us about your concerns. We can help you understand whether you’ve encountered a common myth, and why we think group counseling could be a solution for you.
Schedule your appointment today to learn more about our psychology and psychiatry services.