Group Therapy FAQs

General

Group therapy is an excellent therapeutic tool to help people connect and share their experiences in a positive, nurturing environment. Group therapy can help promote a sense of belonging and support.

Group therapy facilitators have extensive training in successfully leading and facilitating group therapy sessions.
The diversity of any given group allows several unique insights that individual therapy alone may not provide.

Is group therapy effective?

Group therapy has been proven effective in helping individuals across the lifespan in dealing with a broad range of issues from mild adjustment to severe or chronic mental health concerns. It has been shown to be as effective as individual therapy, and for some issues, it can be even more effective than individual therapy.

  • Benefits of group therapy include:
    • Offering new insights and perspectives for shared problems
    • Being held accountable for progress
    • Opportunities to work on a variety of skills
    • The ability to role-play and practice real-life situations
    • Learning from others’ experiences

Why should I consider group therapy vs individual therapy?

Both group and individual therapy offer effective and science-based benefits. However, each has its own unique advantages and disadvantages that are important to consider. One of the biggest benefits of group therapy is that it provides a support network of individuals with similar issues that you can talk to and hear from. Group members can provide valuable feedback and help you to stay focused and accountable as you work on making progress. Group therapy can also help put problems and difficulties in perspective as well and understand that you are not alone. Challenges associated with group therapy is that group therapy is not meant for everyone and it may not be the best fit for their therapy goals. We encourage you to read through other questions on this page to gain a better understanding of group therapy. Please contact our office and one of our associates can help answer your questions.

Is Group Therapy Confidential?

Providers in group therapy are bound by the same confidentiality that they are individual therapy, with limitations regarding reports of suicidal or homicidal intent and plan, and child, elder, or dependent adult abuse. Group facilitators will review general expectations at the start of each group, including ground rules about confidentiality. For groups that are held virtually, the expectation is that members are in a private place when in group.

Are groups virtual or in person?

Groups are offered both virtually and in person. Please see the group that you’re interested in on our list of current groups to see whether it will be virtual or in person.

What does a typical session look like?

Typical sessions vary by group type; durations can range from 50 minutes to 1.5 hours, and there might be variation in the number of group facilitators or the style in which group is run. See the “Types of Group Therapy” link before for more specifics, as well as the list of current groups for more detail about the group you’re interested in. For all groups, a specific framework and ground rules–such as confidentiality and respectful interactions–are clearly communicated during each session to ensure conversations remain therapeutic and appropriate.

Types of Group Therapy (see hyperlink)

Group therapy sessions usually revolve around a specific topic like developing relationships, mindfulness-based relapse prevention, anger management, and creating healthy lifestyles.

How do I get the most out of group therapy?

Being open to the content of group and to other’s experiences is helpful for getting the most out of group therapy. Relatedly, listening to what others bring in and responding respectfully is important. Being accountable will also help you get the most out of group therapy; as with individual therapy, your attendance and participation is a key to making the change that you’re looking for. 

Where can I see the list of group therapies being offered?

Visit our main Group Therapy page, linked here.

Won’t listening to other people’s problems make me feel worse? I’m worried that my problems aren’t as bad as others, or might be worse.

Many people have this worry about attending group therapy. Generally, we have found that hearing about other people’s struggles is helpful, as it builds solidarity and support and reduces the feeling that you are alone in what you’re struggling with. Providing support to others who are struggling can also build a sense of self-efficacy, and seeing other’s work through their struggles can build hope and provide valuable learning as well.

Logistics

Can I do both group and individual therapy?

Depending on your goals for therapy, you may benefit from participating in group and individual therapy. Group therapy can be used to address an issue that is not the focus of your sessions in individual therapy. If you are meeting with an individual therapist already, we encourage you to talk to them about group therapy options to see if there is a group that is right for you. If the group you are interested in is scheduled to start several weeks out and you would like to meet with a therapist right away, give us a call and our admin team will be happy to assist you.

How long do groups last?

Groups vary in how long they last; most will be between 8-16 weeks. Read the description below the group you’re interested in to learn more about the duration and length of that specific group. Depending on the group, it may be possible to attend again once you’ve completed one round.

Is group therapy covered by my insurance?

We are in-network with Cigna and direct bill most insurance plans for out-of-network benefits. Please contact our office with questions about billing and insurance.

I’m worried about seeing someone I know in the group. What do I do if that happens?

It is possible that you will see someone you know in group. If this happens, please reach out to your group facilitator so that you can discuss any worries that you have and work with them on the best course forward for you.

How many people are in a group?

Groups can vary in size. The size can depend on the purpose of the group and its structure. Check our group’s page to learn more about each group.

How much will I need to share with the group?

You are welcome to share as much and as deeply as you feel comfortable. Group therapy can feel intimidating at first, but oftentimes people find themselves sharing more as the group goes on and they become more comfortable with others in the room.

I see a group listed that I’m interested in - How do I join?

Call or email our admin team to get more information about how to join the group you are interested in. The process to join a group may vary depending on the group. Our admin team will let you know how you can connect with the group facilitator and if a screening or initial appointment needs to be scheduled.

The group I am interested in requires a screening or intake. What will happen during that initial meeting?

Some groups will require an initial screening or intake. During this meeting, the group facilitator may use this opportunity to provide more information about the group, assess fit, and answer any questions you may have before deciding to join.

The group I am interested in already started. Can I still join?

Please reach out to our admin team, info@theclinicca.org, to see if you are able to join. Some groups are “open”, which means that you can join at a later date even if the group has already started. Some may be repeating again in the future, so even if you have missed this round, you can ask our team to reach out when the next round begins.

Do I need to purchase any materials for group therapy?

Groups that require materials to be purchased will have this information listed in the group’s description on the main group page. Some groups may list materials as optional.

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**Announcement**
On June 11th, our current electronic health system will transition to a new and advanced system to better serve you: Athena. Prior to the transition date, you will be sent a registration link to create a new patient account in Athena. If you have any immediate questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your therapist, or call our office to speak to a staff member. 

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