What is group psychotherapy?

Group therapy is a form of psychotherapy that involves one or more therapists working with several people at the same time. Attending therapy with others – whether they’re a friend, relative or partner – can offer insights that you may be too close to your own situation to see. Some people attend individual therapy in addition to group therapy, while others participate in groups only. Anything shared within sessions is entirely confidential. The group is a safe place to learn about oneself with other people, give and receive honest feedback and connect to new people.

Why group therapy?

  • Diversity is a significant benefit of group therapy. People have different personalities and backgrounds, and they look at situations in different ways. By observing how other people tackle problems and make positive changes, you can discover a whole range of strategies for facing your own concerns as well as identify potentially harmful ways of thinking within your personal viewpoint.
  • The group acts as a support network and sounding board. Other members of the group often show you specific ideas for improving a difficult situation or life challenge as well as raising issues and causes that you haven’t noticed yourself.
  • Sharing can be healing. Group can also be a powerful support base and anchor in times of stress, instability, loneliness and difficulties. If you need to be there for other people, it can be difficult to get the support that you need personally. Group provides a place where you are able to find this, away from those who you’re responsible for caring for. Then, you’re better placed to be there for your own loved ones.
  • Talking and listening to others can put your own problems in perspective. You may feel like you’re the only one struggling but it’s likely that you’re not. Hearing about challenges that others face, discussing what they’re going through and realising that you’re not alone, can provide relief and reassurance. Practising feelings of empathy or new skills can also provide a better perspective of your own difficulties relative to others.

Is group therapy for me?

Group therapy is for adults experiencing psychological distress. The following thematic groups meet weekly, you are welcome to join any time. Please get in touch for more information.

Relationships Group

Group therapy is an opportunity to share insights and seek advice from a neutral individual as well as those directly affected. Together and with a therapist, the individuals will explore the reasons behind the current difficulties, relationship dynamics and look at the roles that each person plays in the particular events and why.

Loneliness Confidence Group

If you would like to meet a new partner or make new friends but are struggling to find ways to, the group will explore underlying causes for these difficulties, share insights and discuss what works and what doesn’t. A group structure fosters supportive interactions: the individuals learn about themselves with other people by receiving healthy feedback and encouragement. Practising social skills in a safe environment like this teaches us how to help ourselves as well as how to seek support from fellow human beings and become more confident.

The group is for those who are feeling lonely, experiencing low self-esteem and are unsure about themselves around other people. This type of therapy can help to break down these barriers and build the confidence to communicate how they’re feeling to those around them. Providing relief and long lasting changes, group therapy will help the individual to avoid recurrence of these difficulties in the future.

Caring for loved one with health difficulties Group

People need care for a wide range of illnesses and conditions. From short-term, disabilities, to long-term permanent conditions such as Acquired Brain Injury and through to chronic illnesses like Motor Neurone Disease, Parkinson’s and mental difficulties such as depression. Often, the people supporting the individuals directly affected by these are overlooked. It’s really important to also look after people who are caring for others such as partners, parents, children or professional carers.

Carers come from all cultures, ages, genders, religions, sexual preferences and locations. They can be young or still be caring at age 90. Many are caring for more than one recipient as well as themselves and their own health can become profoundly compromised. Some carers experience chronic isolation as well as the emotional and psychological pressures related to caregiving.

Group for carers is a rare opportunity to explore their own psychological responses to caring in general and caring for people with severe mental health problems in particular. The group will focus on learning to set boundaries and protecting your own well-being in the face of the needs of others. The aim isn’t to prevent pain and trouble in the future, but build up a resistance so that a person becomes more able to cope with the problems and frustrations of life.

Is group therapy recommended by the NHS?

Yes, this type of therapy is available at some NHS hospitals, mental health clinics, and community centres.