4 Common Myths about Group Therapy (And the Surprising Truth!)

With the number of new groups GT Therapy Group is offering this month, it can be hard to know which is the best fit for you or someone you care about. Plus, what if group therapy is completely new to you? You might be thinking, “Who knows what these other people might be like,” or “There’s no way people will really care about or listen to me." We all come to group with stories we tell ourselves of what it would be like, so now feels like a great time to explore the Fact vs. Fiction of group therapy! Take a look below to see if any of the four group therapy myths below have crossed your mind when considering joining a group!

  • MYTH: “I will be forced to tell all of my deepest thoughts, feelings, and secrets to the group."

  • Reality: You control what, how much, and when you share with the group.

    • Most people find that when they feel safe enough to share what is troubling them, a group can be very helpful and affirming. We encourage you not to share what you are not ready to disclose. However, you can also be helped by listening to others and thinking about how what they are saying might apply to you.

  • MYTH: “I have so much trouble talking to people; I'll never be able to share in a group."

  • Reality: Most people are anxious about being able to talk.

    • Almost without exception, within a few sessions, people find that they do begin to talk in the group. Group members with past group experience remember what it is like to be new to the group, so you will most likely get a lot of support around feeling anxious, as well as support when you begin to talk in the group.

  • MYTH: “If I do share, the group members or leader might not like what I have to say."

  • Reality: It is very important that group members feel safe. Group leaders are there to help foster a safe environment and, sometimes, feedback can be difficult to hear.

    • As group members come to trust and accept one another, they generally experience feedback and even gentle confrontation as positive, as if it were coming from a friend. One of the benefits of group therapy is the opportunity to receive feedback from others in a supportive environment. It is rare to find friends who will gently point out how you might be behaving in ways that hurt yourself or others. In the safety of group therapy, you can experience how to tolerate feedback, learn from feedback, and authentically communicate with others.

  • MYTH: "Group therapy will take longer than individual therapy because I will have to share the time with others."

  • Reality: Actually, over 50 clinical trials have shown that group therapy is often more efficient than individual therapy for at least two reasons:

    • First, you can benefit from the group even during sessions when you say little but listen carefully to others. You will find that you have much in common with other group members, and as they work on a concern, you can learn more about yourself.

    • Secondly, group members will often bring up issues that strike a chord with you, but that you might not have been aware of or brought up yourself. Everyone in the group will be at different places in their own and will be able to offer their unique perspective, skills, or ways of coping with the rest of the group. journey,

    • Finally, and in my own opinion, groups can also be a safe space to try new strategies by role-playing without being judged. Plus, group members can provide feedback on how the strategies work, and how your actions come across, which can help you become more self-aware.

While this is not a complete list of group therapy fact vs. fiction, it certainly addresses some of the most common fears we’ve seen new clients and parents express when finding the right fit. In fact, for some clients, group therapy can also be an affordable and supportive introduction into the therapeutic space that may have once seemed too overwhelming. Our therapists at GT Therapy Group can help guide and recommend the most appropriate and best fit for you or your child, and it is our main goal to provide a safe, therapeutic and nurturing space for growth, exploration and overall healing. Please do not hesitate to contact us or read more about our groups here. We look forward to hearing from you soon!