Why Group Psychotherapy Can Improve Relationships

Group psychotherapy is a variation on the usual practice of psychotherapy which involves a one on one dialog between the patient and the practitioner. This variation will be useful in situations where a group of people have a common goal to which they all want to work, such as a family which wants to achieve a more harmonious way of living, or when the group has a need to coexist in harmony. There are also situations where groups of people can be helped to overcome differences which have existed in the past, and which must now be consigned to history.

Psychotherapy is a collection of techniques which is designed to allow an individual to get the most out of their own existence, and to overcome any problems they may have. It should be possible, therefore, to extend this to a group setting, as long as there is underlying harmony within the group. This means that there must be at least a willingness to try to understand the situation on behalf of all parties, otherwise the therapy is unlikely ever to work. Where there is a willingness, there needs to be some degree of willingness to suspend rigid ideas and to try to see the other point of view.

A psychotherapy session involving a group needs to be handled sensitively, especially if there has been a high level of animosity between the parties in the past. It is best to start by carrying out several sessions of individual therapy with the people concerned, before trying to get a group session together. There are several reasons for this, but the main one is that it allows each individual to open up to the therapist in a situation where they will not feel pressured or threatened, something which is unlikely to happen should group sessions begin immediately.

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The techniques of group psychotherapy are an extension of that which needs to be learned in order to practice psychotherapy in the first place, so you will need to be a trained psychotherapist before there is any purpose to studying them. If you are not yet trained, there are many opportunities to study the subject in college or through online learning. Attending the campus personally allows for a fuller integration of your education experience, and the chance to take part in simulated life situations where families and other groups are working within the therapy situation.

Both the initial psychotherapy training material and the group based extensions can be taught through home study, and this is a more effective way for many to learn. If you are someone who learns best by reading material quietly and studying it in your own time, online learning will work far better than a college course would have done. You will still need to attend a local learning center to carry out some practical tests before sitting the examinations, just to make sure that the theory has been absorbed. The qualification you gain on passing the examination will be just the same.


There is no separate licensing requirement for group psychotherapy, as it is all covered by the license you will need to obtain when you first become a therapist. Working as a psychotherapist is something which you can do as part of a small company, or as an individual in your own right. The advantage of starting with a company is that you will always have someone to discuss procedure with, even if you can't discuss the exact details of individual cases. It will also be easier to compare notes with other therapists as to how these sessions should be carried out, which can be useful when you are starting group psychotherapy.

Author: Marc Knox






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