Group therapy is a form of psychotherapy that has proven to be just as, or more effective even than individual psychotherapy for multiple psychological issues. Group therapy is a complex and multifaceted experience that must be directed and coordinated by experienced therapists.
Therapy groups are mixed, open-flow and long-lasting. They are coordinated by one or two regular therapists and have a set duration (90′ or 120′) and weekly appointment. They are based on a systemic approach with an emphasis on the primacy of family relationships.
The therapy group is a safe space where people with different backgrounds, stories and reasons for seeking help benefit from interacting with each other and begin relating to people in their lives outside the group in a way that is satisfying and fulfilling to them.
Inside the group, all members have the right to speak about any issue that troubles them, to whatever length and extent they wish. It is beneficial to all members and their development to share with the group thoughts and feelings that emerge during sessions but avoid giving criticism or direct advice to fellow members. One of the fundamental processes of group therapy is sharing, commenting on and analyzing what is happening in the moment, in the “here and now” of the group. Members reflect on the narratives of fellow members and benefit from the process of the group, even when they are not themselves talking about a personal issue.
The principle of confidentiality is fundamental to the functioning of the group. Therapists abide by the rules and codes of ethics that apply to individual counseling and psychotherapy. Group members are expected to refrain from sharing personal information with people outside the group or among them outside of sessions. If they want to share something about the group with their friends or relatives, they should do so in a way that does not in any way endanger every member’s right to confidentiality.
The therapy group is not a place for forging social and friendly relationships. It is not beneficial for members to maintain relationships outside the group. In case this does occur, members should bring the issue to the group for discussion. Sexual relationships between members of the same therapy group are not permitted.
Before joining a therapy group a member first has a series of individual sessions with the therapist, in order for a strong therapeutic alliance to form and for the therapist to formulate an accurate picture of the client.