In a traditional group therapy setting, one or more psychologists lead a group of people dealing with a similar challenge through weekly in-person conversations. Currently, accessing these groups has become easier than ever – with sessions being conducted online where participants can attend from the comfort of their own homes.
Are you wondering if virtual group therapy might be right for you? Here’s a look at what to expect, as well as the many ways this method can help optimize your mental health.
What to expect at virtual group therapy
Virtual group therapy typically consists of around 15 participants who have a shared experience in common. Some groups focus on coping with a personal loss, depression or anxiety. Recently, virtual therapy groups aimed at helping participants cope with the uncertainty of the pandemic have become popular – especially since many mental health professionals have limited availability for one on one sessions. The psychologist or team of psychologists participating act as moderators to steer the conversation, but participants can offer their own shared experiences or personal advice as well.
Virtual group therapy provides a support network
Whether it’s our family members or close friends, each one of us likely have a support system in place they lean on in times of need. However, when something like a pandemic happens that impacts everyone in our network in a negative way, relying on others can feel hard to do given the burdens everyone is facing. Virtual group therapy offers a safe place to discuss your personal experience, hear from others who are facing similar difficulties and learn from others on coping methods they’ve found helpful during this time – which can make you feel less alone in the problems you’re facing.
Virtual group therapy puts problems into perspective
Many of us keep our personal struggles to ourselves – but in doing so, it can start to feel like you’re the only one having a hard time. Virtual group therapy puts your personal problems into perspective and can be a relief to hear shared experiences from others who are in the same position as you.
Virtual group therapy offers diverse resolutions
People from different backgrounds address problems in a variety of ways – some of which you may have never thought to try before. Taking the time to learn how other people have managed issues you share can open you up to new strategies that can be helpful for what you’re going through – which you may not have discovered otherwise.
Virtual group therapy helps you prioritize self-care
It’s a word that gets thrown around in lots of different contexts, but self-care through the lens of mental health (i.e., making time to do things that bring you joy) can feel more achievable when you hear from others who have incorporated this into their daily lives and are better for it. During a time when so many of the things we love are no longer possible, it’s essential to our mental health that we discover new hobbies and activities that we enjoy. Hearing from others about their new endeavors to learn the guitar through virtual lessons or newly formed habits (like calling one friend each day) can spark ideas for what would be beneficial to your own life.
Virtual group therapy teaches proven strategies
The psychologist/s leading group therapy sessions have proven strategies you can employ to help tackle whatever challenge you’re facing. This is true for individual group therapy as well, but in a group setting you’re able to not only see how these strategies help others with similar issues but work through any walls you may face when employing these techniques together.