Group therapy can be a valuable tool for overcoming life’s challenges. While it is most associated with alcohol and drug addiction, there are many other types of group counseling as well, including relationship therapy, sex addiction, and more.
Group counseling has many benefits that go beyond the traditional benefits of therapy, including:
- Like-Minded Support – You’ll be surrounded by others going through similar struggles.
- Accountability – You will have a group that you’ll feel accountable to.
- Affordability – Group counseling is often less expensive with each session.
Yet despite these benefits, many people have not tried group counseling before. That is why if you’re new to group counseling, you may be wondering the best way to prepare.
Group Counseling Preparation
There is nothing you need to take with you to a group counseling session unless requested by the group counselor. In my Long Island sessions, very rarely will I ask you to bring something with you unless it helps you with sharing.
But there are ways to can prepare yourself mentally, and in some cases you may find yourself wanting to bring certain items that help you.
- Be Prepared to Listen – One of the benefits of group counseling is that it comes with the support of others. There is a temptation to worry about treating yourself, but it is often listening to the challenges of others that can help provide the most benefits for your own needs.
- Be Prepared to Share – It is okay if you are uncomfortable in the beginning, as it is a new experience to share your challenges and thoughts in a group setting. But you’ll still want to be prepared for the idea of sharing your thoughts, and asking for the help of the psychologist and the other attendees.
- Consider Your Challenges – Preparation is also about making sure you are telling the stories that are most relevant to your needs. This is where it is okay to jot things down. You may not need to bring them to the group, but if you have stories you want to remember or issues that you want to bring up, sometimes writing them down can help.
You should also expect to have homework, as you will likely be given specific tasks and ideas that you should take back home with you. And above all else, you should prepare yourself for change. Every individual in group counseling is there so that they can make changes – sometimes drastic changes – to their life. Be ready to make those changes, because although they are a lot of hard work, that hard work will pay off over time.