Group Therapy Q & A
Q. What is group psychotherapy?
A. Group psychotherapy is a form of treatment of mental or emotional problems by psychological means during which one or several therapists treat a small number of clients together as a group. Some people benefit more from group than individual therapy. In addition, group therapy is more cost effective than individual therapy.
Q. Who can benefit from group therapy?
A. Anyone who would like to develop his or her interpersonal skills, anyone experiencing isolation or loss, people struggling with anxiety and depression, those living with chronic illness, trauma survivors, men and women fighting addictions and many others.
Q. What sort of training do group therapists have?
A. A professional group therapist has received special training in group therapy and meets recognized professional standards. The nationally recognized NSGP Training Program offers training in four fundamental areas: group membership, group theory, group leadership and supervision. In addition, the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists
certifies professionals who have met specific training and educational criteria for group therapy as well as ongoing continuing education requirements.
Q. How often do groups meet – and for how long?
A. Most groups meet weekly or biweekly. The time commitment depends on the type of group and the goals of the participants. There are short-term groups that can last anywhere from 6 to 20 weeks. These focus on concrete issues such as divorce, death of a loved one, or stress management. Support therapy groups (for example, those dealing with a chronic medical illness) may be long-term. There are also more open-ended groups in which members work at their own pace and leave when their particular needs or goals have been met. Talk with your therapist to determine the length of time that’s right for you.
Q. Where can I find a group?
A. You can visit the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy web site at www.nsgp.com/group.html to find a current list of available groups. Nationally, you can find a group at www.agpa.org.
Q. What are the costs and does insurance cover group therapy?
A. The cost of group therapy varies depending on the type of therapist and area of the country. Typically, group therapy is about one-third the price of individual therapy. Insurance coverage is similar for both group and individual therapy. Also, most managed care companies cover group much the same as individual therapy. Ask your provider for more information.