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3 Reasons to Join Group Therapy

The route to positive mental health and well-being has many paths that can lead you in the right direction. All forms of therapy offer unique perspectives and strategies that help guide you toward achieving optimal wellness, but choosing the right type can feel overwhelming. If you’ve been reluctant to go to therapy to help improve your mental health, maybe you’re part of the 50% of Canadians with a mental health concern who haven’t yet sought treatment. (1)
Among the main reasons for not attending therapy, people noted that affordability, long wait times, and access to care are major barriers to seeking the support they need. (1) In addition to these common barriers, perhaps the idea of meeting one-on-one with a therapist simply evokes anxiety and has prevented you from seeking help. If that’s the case, rest assured that there are alternatives to individual therapy that suit your preferences and personality.

If you’re not sure about how to begin or continue your journey to positive mental health, consider group therapy as an effective way to address a variety of mental health concerns, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Emotional regulation
  • Trauma
  • Insomnia
  • Substance use

Fortunately, group therapy exists as an affordable and accessible option to help people improve their mental health with the support of a community. Consider these three reasons to join group therapy to work on your mental health goals and make a positive change in your life.

Supportive

The main alternative to individual therapy is group therapy, which offers you the support of a like-minded community with the guidance of a qualified mental health professional. This sense of community gives all group members the opportunity to learn from each other’s experiences, thoughts, and feelings. For many people seeking support, group therapy can be a welcoming option, capable of breaking down the stigma of mental health concerns by surrounding yourself with people who understand how you feel and what you’ve been going through.

A 2022 article published in the National Library of Medicine supports this claim and suggests that group therapy also provides members with hope, altruism, and improved socialization.(2) As a result, joining group therapy can fill you with a sense of optimism while giving you the satisfaction of helping others achieve similar mental health goals.

Affordable

Choosing to improve your mental health shouldn’t come down to cost but, in reality, therapy can get expensive. And, in today’s era of rising expenses and high cost of living, it might be hard to budget for mental health care. So, the first thing you should do is check whether your employer’s insurance policy covers therapy. Many plans include some sort of extended health benefits that cover some or all of the cost of therapy. Just remember to check what credentials your counsellor needs to be covered so that you aren’t faced with any surprises when it comes time to get reimbursed. If you still find therapy too pricey even with your insurance coverage, an economical way to minimize the expense is to join group therapy.

Compared to individual or couples and family therapy sessions, group therapy is a more affordable way to access mental health support. This is because enlisting the services of a qualified counsellor in Canada can cost up to $240 per hour.(3) At a fraction of the price, group therapy provides the same guidance offered in individual counselling sessions, but the cost of the counsellor’s hourly rate is divided among group members. As a result, instead of paying hundreds for a therapy session, you can benefit from a reduced group rate for as little as $50 per session. If you multiply that by a standard 8-week program, you can save over $1,500.

Effective

According to the American Journal of Psychotherapy, group therapy is equally effective as individual therapy in treating an array of mental health concerns (4), including:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety and social anxiety disorders
  • Panic disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Substance use disorders
  • Chronic pain

Also, the same study found that group therapy can be an extremely effective method of supporting LGBTQ+ community members to reduce feelings of stress, shame, and isolation. Group therapy can offer members specialized support in a safe and accepting environment without the fear of judgment or discrimination. Ultimately, various groups exist to effectively help people address their unique mental health concerns regardless of gender, race, age, or socioeconomic status.

Online Group Therapy

If the idea of gathering in person to discuss your mental health concerns seems uncomfortable, perhaps you should consider online group therapy. Just as effective as in-person group therapy, counsellors use the same evidence-based behavioural treatments, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), to provide coping skills and strategies to help improve your mental health. The only difference is that you can join a session from the comfort of your home or on the go so that you can prioritize your mental health anytime, anywhere. This online option is also ideal for people with mobility or health issues, who live in remote communities, and those who merely prefer to communicate virtually.

Learn more about specialized online therapy groups to support your mental health journey by visiting: https://homewoodhealthcentre.com/for-patients/virtual-therapy/

1. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/75-006-x/2023001/article/00011-eng.htm
2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK549812/
3. https://globalnews.ca/news/5495155/therapy-tips/
4. https://www.apa.org/monitor/2023/03/continuing-education-group-therapy

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