TREATING ANXIETY IN GROUP THERAPY

About 6-15 anxiety disorder patients are typically treated together in an anxiety group therapy, contrary to consulting a therapist individually. However, dealing with anxiety in group therapy has some benefits, but disadvantages as well.

Because all the participants in a group have the same disorder experienced themselves, which will give the individual a more comfortable feeling. He or she will soon begin to realize that their problem is not an isolated one. Once they accept that there are other people in the same situation, it can turn out to be life-affirming for them, especially if the anxiety disorder makes them imagine that they are some type of an outsider or being a “freak” or being different from, and therefore inferior to the majority of society.

One of the great advantages of anxiety group therapy is the input of the experience the fellow patients have. It can help in finding solutions to everyone’s troubles. A therapist might not have established that by him- or herself.

The patient, when learning coping skills like the ones learned through cognitive anxiety therapy, can profit from understandings based on shared experiences of a situation which causes anxiety, suggested by the patient’s group members.

The easeof being in a group setting lessens anxiety and can bring the patient out of his or her shell. It stimulates the individual to speak about goals, ambitions and likely solutions to the problems that cause the anxiety disorder. This a great benefit of anxiety group therapy over individual treatments.

Unluckily there are some clear disadvantages that anxiety group therapy has over individualized treatment. Due to its character, a group setting might limit the therapist to approach the participants just in general, contrary to individual solutions required by each patient. Further, these settings might limit the time the therapist can find to deal with everyone’s individual problem appropriately. This can cause a feeling of being overlooked.

Because of this reason, group anxiety therapy programs are typically run in conjunction with individual sessions with a health care professional. In order to have one to one counseling with a therapist or licensed counselor, each patient is pulled out of the group for a set time each day. Themes that cannot be adequately handled in a group setting are discussed there, such as the individual’s medication. The combination of anxiety group therapy and individual therapy will guarantee that all the patient’s requirements are met.