What comes to your mind when you think of therapy? Is it an image of a person sitting in a therapist’s office talking about their issues? If yes, you are not entirely wrong, as individual or one-on-one psychotherapy is quite well known. However, therapy can be conducted in groups as well. In fact, group therapy is a well-researched form of treatment for various mental health issues. This article explores the concept of group therapy in depth.

Understanding Group Therapy

In simple terms, group therapy is a form of talk therapy where one or more therapists work with a small group of people. The size of the group can be anywhere between 5 and 15 members. The group is generally smaller, so each member of the group gets equal time and opportunity to speak. Some groups allow members to join at any time; they are called open groups, while other groups do not allow new members to join once the group sessions have started, they are closed groups.

What Happens In Group Therapy?

Like individual therapy, group therapy is held in a safe and confidential environment. The group therapist also helps members set goals that they wish to achieve through the group therapy process. The group sessions usually focus on a particular subject, behaviour, or condition like substance misuse, depression, anger management, chronic pain, social anxiety, grief, or low self-esteem. People in the group share their experiences related to that topic, while the therapist facilitates the group discussions

The group usually meets once a week and the length of sessions varies from 1 to 2 hours, depending on the therapist, the participants and the issues being addressed. Some clients choose to attend only group therapy, while others attend group therapy along with individual sessions. 

How Does Group Therapy Help?

Group therapy can be beneficial for multiple reasons. Research suggests that group therapy can be effective in the treatment of various mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorders (OCD), etc. Sometimes group therapy is as effective as individual therapy. Some other benefits of group therapy are:

  • It Provides A Safe Space

Like individual therapy, group therapy also works on the ethical principle of confidentiality. The therapist works with other members to create a non-judgemental environment within the group so that each member feels free to express themselves

  • Self-Awareness

Group therapy is not only a place for interactions. But it can also contribute to increased self-awareness. Sharing your struggles and listening to others can help you reflect and gain insights into your own life, leading to personal growth.

  • Sense of Hope

This is one of the most important benefits of group therapy. The journey of healing can seem overwhelming and lonely, but joining a therapy group allows you to interact with others going through similar issues, which might reduce feelings of loneliness in recovery. When you see other group members making progress, it might also create a sense of hope and motivate you towards progress. 

  • Shared Learning

Group therapy allows members to interact with others who are going through similar issues. Because everyone is going through similar struggles, group members can come together to find effective coping mechanisms and even learn from each other’s experiences, leading to a shared learning experience.

  • Development of Social Skills

Groups require interactions from members. Thus, regular interaction with group members can help in the development of social skills such as effective communication, boundary setting, conflict resolution, etc. These skills are useful in other domains of life as well.


Group therapy is an effective form of treatment, as it not only offers the benefits of individual therapy, such as confidentiality and a safe space but also creates a collective environment where group members feel supported by each other. It also reduces feelings of loneliness and contributes to the development of self-awareness and social skills.


  1. Better Together? 5 Benefits of Group Therapy. (2016, May 17). Psych Central. https://psychcentral.com/lib/benefits-of-group-therapy
  2. Group Therapy: How It Works, What It Helps, and More. (2023, November 21). EverydayHealth.Com. https://www.everydayhealth.com/news/benefits-group-therapy-mental-health-treatment/
  3. LCSW-S, C. V. C. (2021, November 22). 8 Rewarding Benefits of Group Therapy. Talkspace. https://www.talkspace.com/blog/benefits-of-group-therapy/
  4. What Is Group Therapy? (n.d.). Verywell Health. Retrieved February 1, 2024, from https://www.verywellhealth.com/group-therapy-5219798

Dhruva Koranne

Dhruva Koranne has completed his Masters in Applied Psychology from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, BALM. He has been practicing as a counsellor since 2020 and works to create a safe space for clients where they can open up. In addition to this, Dhruva loves researching and studying about upcoming theories in the field of Psychology. Connect with him on Linkedin