Counselors who aim to get inside the minds of their parents and identify their problems before sitting down and talking about the issues, usually opt for a one to one session. However, holding counseling sessions simultaneously with a group of individuals facing similar problems is often deemed to be effective as well. It is, therefore, thought to be conducive to go for group counseling especially when the patient has anger issues or fails to handle stress effectively. Compulsive obsessive disorder is yet another area where group counseling works wonders and therapists often try to treat their patients with a combination of individual and group counseling sessions.
The main idea behind group counseling is to help the affected individual understand that he/she is not alone in the world. There are other persons facing the same problems and getting together in a group while discussing the issues helps to create a feeling of camaraderie and belonging. The individuals in the group are encouraged to discuss about their problems openly and can come up with the solutions themselves while the group counselor simply contributes by nudging him/her gently in the right direction. This helps in creating self dependence and the confidence of the concerned person grows making him/her capable of facing the world again.
Duration & Members
Most group counseling sessions take place at regular intervals for 1-2 hours. While the severely disturbed patients may undergo the session in hospitals or rehabilitation centers, issues like anger management or alcohol abuse often take place in informal surroundings with the members being allowed more freedom and flexibility.
The group is usually small and often consists of about 8 to 10 individuals with one or two professional counselors overlooking the session.
Benefits of Group Counseling
- There is no feeling of isolation.
- Recognizing and understanding the core problem.
- The affected person feels safe and secure emotionally.
- There is no feeling of embarrassment or pain in asking for help from group members as the other members are trying to deal with similar issues too.
- Sharing of experiences helps in regaining trust
- The affected person understands the value of honesty and learns to handle responsibility.
- It helps the individuals to care and accept the other members of the group without reservations.
- The patients find encouragement and unconditional support within the groups.
- The individuals learn about how their behavior is perceived by others and often learn to be more productive and positive after being shown an alternative method of interaction.