Process group therapy is designed to help those who are struggling with a specific concern. The main goal is for all individuals to feel a sense of belonging within the group because everyone can relate, in some way, to one another.
In a process group therapy session, a small group meets in-person with a therapist. The idea of the entire “process” is to establish trust and form strong enough relationships with others in the group to willingly open up.
Process groups have become more popular as they allow individuals attending to feel connected to others who are going through similar situations. They can see things from new perspectives while feeling supported and encouraged.
So, what are the most powerful benefits of process group therapy? And how is it different from other types of group therapies?
What to Expect in a Process Group Therapy Session
As stated above, the first few times you attend process group therapy, it’s all about establishing trust with the other people there. You can share experiences with the group. You can even talk about how you are dealing with those experiences.
The unique thing about process therapy is that other members of the group can then provide feedback. They can tell you if they agree or disagree with the way you might be doing things. While that might not sound encouraging at first, receiving that kind of feedback can help you to see things from a new perspective. You may not have considered certain things before, but someone hearing your story or actions for the first time can cause you to look at things differently.
But process group therapy isn’t about being negative. In fact, negative feedback is discouraged.
The feedback that is given is meant to empower every member of the group. When giving feedback, group members aren’t there to make decisions for others. They simply talk about what they would do if they were in another person’s shoes. That’s why it’s so important to build and establish trust before these discussions begin.
Process Group Therapy vs Support Group
If you’re wondering how process group therapy differs from more “traditional” offerings, like a support group, there are a few key factors to consider.
First, support groups are more fluid and less structured. While they typically have a group leader, that person doesn’t necessarily have to have a license. They don’t need to be a mental health professional of any kind. Conversely, a licensed and trained counselor or therapist leads process group therapy.
Another major difference is that support groups don’t require attendance. They are typically ongoing groups, so people can come for a few weeks and then leave. They might come back, or they might not. While the nice thing about support groups is that they are always there whenever they are needed, they may not dig deep enough to help with whatever underlying issue you’re dealing with.
Process group therapy is more scheduled. And the 5-8 members of the group are expected to attend every session.
While support groups are typically meant for emotional support during times of distress, process group therapy helps you to learn how to get through those struggles by learning new perspectives from others. It can give you a renewed sense of self-awareness and help you to feel stronger than ever even as you face struggles.
Would You Like to Know More?
You’re not alone, and process group therapy can help you to recognize that. Sometimes, all it takes is a different perspective. That—combined with support, encouragement, and empowerment—can help you to overcome whatever you may be dealing with.
If you want to learn more about how process group therapy could help you, please contact Integrative Psychotherapy Group.