Sometimes a therapist (or two) will conduct a group session with between 6 and 12 patients. There are many benefits of group therapy including the recognition by some patients that he is not alone in the psychological issues that they face, that one can learn from the experiences of others and help to understand how different people view the world and other people. It often provides and opportunity for those who have not been communicating well with others, to do so in a safe environment guided by a moderator.
However, group therapy is not for everyone. Some people do not wish to, or do not have the skills to open up to a group. Some are distrustful of sharing personal information to strangers. For these people one to one consultancy sessions are recommended.
Groups can be closed – meaning that no new entrants can join during the course of the group, or open, accepting people at different times. Closed groups will generally run for a fixed period of time, usually 8 to 10 sessions. Open groups can be ongoing where people drop into and out of the group as needed.
Groups can also focus on a particular topic such as Post Natal Depression, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Alcoholism. Alternatively there can be groups that are more broadly based that include suffers of depression and anxiety.