Friday Factoids: Why Does Group Therapy Work?



Group therapy is a great treatment intervention for a variety of clients. Brabender (2002) discusses that one major resource in group treatment is feedback, the offering of reactions, from the other group members. The powerful feature of group therapy is the presence of a number of different viewpoints.


Another major element of group work is the availability of both peer relationships and relationships with authority. A group provides something of the richness of the world outside the group. Group members can discover how people react towards them in an honest, safe, and secure environment. If a woman constantly has failed relationships in her life, group members can give honest feedback regarding her personality characteristics that may contribute to her failed relationships.


Another important aspect of group therapy is that members do not merely comment on others but also identify with them. They consider how behaviors or a feeling could be found in their own self. This can help members not feel so alone in the qualities they possess, thus leading to more self-acceptance instead of self-criticism. If group members are willing to be honest and open in group therapy, powerful interactions and self-change can occur.


Reference: Brabender, V. (2002). Introduction to group therapy. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.


Cindy A. Geil, M.A.
WKPIC Doctoral Intern



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