Therapy is a crucial part of becoming well. Many people have seen therapists for individual therapy which is highly effective in resolving many issues including trauma, relationship struggles, etc. But an often-overlooked form of therapy is group therapy. Group therapy provides a unique experience far different from that of individual therapy. In fact, I am leading two support groups through our KetWell Patient Connect program.
Here are five advantages of group therapy:
- Understanding you are not alone.
Often when we struggle, we trick ourselves into believing we are the only one in the world who is going through this unique experience. Being a part of a group opens our eyes to see others are going through very similar situations. This is especially true for those who are receiving ketamine infusions! Describing our experience to those who have never had an infusion, is like trying to teach an ant the laws of physics.
- Feelings of safety.
Similar to individual therapy, group therapy provides an environment of safety. The safer and more comfortable we feel with others the more open we become with sharing our thoughts and feelings.
- Sharing your story.
With the cultural stigma surrounding chronic pain and mental illness, we very rarely share our stories in an honest and open way. We are used to the strange looks, well-meaning but unhelpful advice, or hurtful comments when we do openly share. We find it easier to clam up. Group allows us to discover our voice, our truth, and new sense of strength.
- The opportunity to give and receive support.
There is great power in being able to give and receive support in a healthy environment. With family and friends, we often times stop asking for help in fear of being a burden. Having others encourage us can help ease our burdens. And the joy of showing compassion and support for others takes us beyond ourselves and opens us up to the shared sense of community.
- Problem solve.
Coping with life can often be a struggle. In a group setting, we can share our problems and discuss how others cope with similar issues. Group is not about advice-giving but about receiving input from others, processing, and coming to our own understanding of the issues we face.
Terri Kutchera is the Patient Consultant and Coach at Ketamine Wellness Centers