Group therapy has proven to be quite beneficial for a number of issues, enabling individuals who participate to work through those issues and find resolutions much faster. More and more often, therapists are recommending group therapy for depression as well.
The Advantage of Group Therapy for Depression
One of the greatest advantages of this type of group therapy is that the participants can see that they are not alone. Other people have the same thoughts and feelings when they are depressed, and as bad as it may sound, some people even find that their depression is lifted when they learn that there are people worse off in the world than they are.
This is not the only advantage, however. Individuals will also benefit from group therapy if their depression centers on problems in a relationship, or social problems. Many social issues that lead to depression will center on worrying about what other people think of you, and a group therapy environment will help you to combat those particular worries.
Different Types of Group Therapy for Depression
Not all group therapy for depression is the same. Different therapy methods can be used for the group as a whole. For example, talk therapy is beneficial, but cognitive behavioral therapy can also be applied. Other choices include interpersonal therapy and psychodynamic therapy. Typically, in a group setting, only one type of therapy will be used, and this is often determined by the type of therapy that you were individually receiving, if you received individual or private therapy before participating in group therapy.
Is Group Therapy for Depression Right for You?
Group therapy for depression is not the right choice for all people, and it is important to realize this. For example, if you have a traumatic event that is still in effect in your life, you most likely need the safety of private sessions, as opposed to group sessions. If you are suicidal, your therapist should not recommend group therapy. The same is true if you are having delusional episodes.
Finally, your therapist should get a feel for how sensitive you are to criticism from others, or your ability to talk to people that you do not know well about your problems, and recommend either private sessions or group sessions accordingly. This doesn’t mean that the people with these issues won’t ever be suitable for group therapy. It simply means that group therapy for depression is not the right choice for that individual at this time.