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The Basics of Therapy – Part 2

Published: July 28, 2020

There are many different formats for therapy. Find the best one (or two) for you.

In part one of The Basics of Therapy, we discussed what therapy is and what to look for when you begin the journey to self-discovery. Therapy can no doubt intimidate people, especially those that are new to the therapeutic process, since there are different types and formats to therapy. As overwhelming as it may seem, we’re here to let you know that while therapy is not an overnight fix, it has many benefits that extend beyond the typical hour session and can manifest throughout your mind, body, and soul.

Benefits of Therapy

Therapy has many benefits. Here are some of the benefits of doing therapy:

Therapy helps you develop healthy coping mechanisms.

It can enhance your drive and ability to achieve goals.

With treatment, you will be able to overcome your past trauma and live your best life.

Therapy can improve your interpersonal communications and relationships.

Therapy provides alternative solutions to complicated situations and doing away with self-destructive behaviors.

Group Therapy

Group therapy is when two or more people receive treatment from one (or more) therapist at the same time. During group therapy, you can learn from the experience of others. While group therapy is the most popular format for support groups, it is more effective when the group members have a common problem, such as suffering from a mental illness, issue, or habit without the potential to make them feel abandoned, judged, or different.

The Principles Behind Group Therapy

Group therapy operates under the following therapeutic principles:

Give hope. Group members are at different stages of the therapy process. When you see someone who is coping or recovering, you get encouraged that there is light at the end of a tunnel.

Universal. Members of your group have a common problem. This helps you realize that you are not the only person suffering from a specific issue. In so doing, you take the therapy process positively.

Instill knowledge. Group members learn from each other through sharing information. Often, you can relate to their situation, and vice versa, which is a guiding force in recovery.

Imitative behavior. Aligning with others that have walked in your shoes creates a bond, and you can imitate the positive action of other group members.

Catharsis. Your pain, guilt, or stress get relieved as you share your feeling with other group members. This is a safe and secure place to express yourself.

How Group Therapy Works

On average, group therapy sessions consists of approximately 8-12 members. Your group organizes to meet once or twice per week, or sometimes more. The therapy session takes 1 or 2 hours and can be open (outside guests are welcome) or closed meetings (persons in recovery only). The sitting arrangement can vary but usually is in a large circle so that each person in the group can see the rest in the group.

How the session is run depends on your own goal as a group, although most therapists recommend free form dialogue.

Individual Therapy

Individual therapy is a therapeutic process where you, as an individual, discuss your problems one-on-one with a licensed therapist. It is an effective therapy to treat emotional difficulties and mental illnesses. Individual therapy provides you with an opportunity to comfortably discuss your problems with a therapist in a private setting.

How Individual Therapy Works

Individual therapy starts by looking for the right therapist. Once you find one, you then schedule a therapy session, and your therapist will give you an opportunity to confidentiality open up and discusses your issues.  Therapy sessions usually last for about 45 minutes to an hour, and the frequency and duration depend heavily on your needs, treatment, objectives, and progress.

Therapy has been proven to help clear headspace for people that have a willingness to work at it and grow. Whatever the challenge you might be going through, you are not alone, and help is available. Be ready to open up to a therapist whenever you think all is lost. They will be able to help guide you on your journey and provide transparent insight along the way.

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