5 Tips on How to Find the Right Group Therapy Type for You

There is more than one group therapy type.

Some groups are based around specific ages. For example, children and teens have their own groups separate from adults.

Often times groups come together because of similar issues. For example, a specific group might help people cope with anxiety, PTSD, addiction, or grief.

Of course, there are many different types of therapies. Therefore, there are different treatment types within groups as well.

Group therapy offers many benefits. It can be helpful on its own or in addition to individual therapy. Naturally, finding the right group for you will increase the likelihood of reaping those benefits.

CBT, DBT, and ACT Group Therapy

Skill-building is one popular type of group therapy. It is often used in combination with learning how to change thoughts. In other words, you come to understand your thinking, and how it leads to certain behavior. Then you use that information to develop skills for thinking and acting in new ways. Skills groups help you learn about the issues as well as practice the skills.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) groups are a good choice for many people. There are CBT groups for varied specific issues. For example, in a CBT group for people with social anxiety, you might practice introducing yourself to others.

There are two types of therapy that are similar to CBT:

  1. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
  2. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Both of these are based on mindfulness. DBT helps a lot with emotion regulation and interpersonal skill development. ACT works on accepting thoughts and emotions without judgment while working towards change.

There are group therapy options for DBT and ACT. In fact, DBT is a very structured type of therapy that almost always includes a combination of individual and group therapy work.

Other Types of Group Therapy

Skills-based groups are not the only group therapy type. Other types of group therapy include:

  • Support groups; for example, bereavement processing groups
  • Interpersonal group therapy; small groups that work on relational issues
  • Psychoeducational groups; for example, to learn about parenting techniques
  • Process-oriented counseling groups; people share their stories around a specific issue
  • Self-help groups without a therapist; Alcoholics Anonymous is a popular example

Tips for Finding the Group Therapy Type

Oftentimes therapists offer a one-on-one evaluation to help you select the right group therapy type. Furthermore, if you already see someone for individual therapy, they might be able to help you choose group therapy that suits your needs.

Additionally, think about what you want to get out of group therapy. Do you need help changing thought patterns or building skills? In contrast, do you want a group that you can just discuss feelings with? This will tell you whether you need a CBT-informed group or one that’s more about support.

Here are five additional tips for choosing the right group:

  1. Consider the group size. Do you want a small or large group?
  2. Think about your time commitment – hours per week and for how many weeks.
  3. Do you prefer that it is always the same members or is it okay if new people join regularly?
  4. What type of training and experience does the facilitating therapist have?
  5. Do the group’s policies feel right for you? For example, what is the attendance policy?

Once you choose a group, enter it with an open mind. Group therapy can feel intimidating at first. After all, being vulnerable to a group of strangers isn’t easy.

Furthermore, each group has its own dynamics. You might not like everyone in the group. That’s okay. It provides you with information and insight that can actually help you therapeutically.

It’s normal to have a lot of questions about group therapy. Learn more here or contact us so that we may offer support as you choose the right group therapy type.