Free The Aims and Benefits of Group and Family Therapy Essay Sample
Group therapy is a counseling approach that involves a professional counselor facilitating a session with a small group of clients usually between 6-8 people (Myers, 2009). On the other hand, family therapy views a family as an interactive system and attempts to help members discover their roles and to learn to communicate openly and directly. Therefore, family therapy is an integrative approach to counseling where the opinions and participation of every member of the family is enhanced with a view of realizing areas where adjustments are necessary for the stability and functioning of the family as a unit (Corey, 2012).
The aims of group counseling are various. Firstly, it is used to improve interpersonal relationships and interactions. Therefore, relationship and interpersonal interaction problems are addressed collectively. This counseling technique seeks to help in finding solutions to emotional problems and, in turn, encourage personal development of each participant within a group setting (Myers, 2009). Secondly, family therapy seeks to find a holistic approach to familial problems including social, emotional, financial or even physical ones. The aim of this technique is to understand individual’s behavioral predispositions within the dynamics of the social circumstances around him or her. A therapist, therefore, applies family therapy especially if he or she is interested in helping people to communicate differently and acquire skills needed for achievement of the positive change.
There are several group therapy benefits. This counseling technique is likely to help more people. In addition, costs of individual therapy are much higher, therefore, group therapy cost less as one does not need to pay for each individual separately. Besides, also get certain benefits as they are aware of the fact that other people have similar problems. Furthermore, they may get positive reassurance or feedback from those, who have already undergone this type of therapy. For example, an experienced addict who is undergoing the process of recovery may persuade another addict to overcome denial and help him or her to face life realities and recover from drug use in the process. Besides, group therapy creates a socially interactive environment where participants with different ages, cultures, and sexes freely share their orientations, experiences, and attitudes (Myers, 2009). This interactive environment that consists of different participants is healthy in terms of reconciling irrational beliefs and attitudes with reality. Thus, emotional healing is facilitated without subjects feeling coerced to a change due to group therapy.
Group therapy with regular sessions can be very helpful to clients with social disorders since they may get a sense of belonging (Corey, 2012). The group participants who were initially needy and helpless finally gained strength. With time, participants are able to use their own strengths to support each others during psychological crises. The greatest benefit of group therapy is the fact that due to it participants come to realize that other people are also facing the similar challenges and thus benefit from some kind of relief (Corey, 2012). In fact, by undergoing group therapy, a person may learn that other people might have even more challenging experiences with the same problems. This gives one a positive attitude and confidence to cope with psychological resources to overcome the challenge.
Family therapy offers a good opportunity for the resolution of family issues. For example, such issues as death of the loved one may require that a couple together with children attends the discussions to enable them to overcome the challenge. Myers (2009) cited that this therapeutic approach also gives the family an opportunity to communicate with each other easily and build strong family attachments and improve overall relationships with each other. Due to family therapy, even individual issues are addressed (Rasheed, Rasheed & Marley, 2011). A member of the family who is experiencing depression, for example, may affect others. However, when the family attends a therapeutic session together, all the issues, both familial and individual, are addressed so as to enhance healthy relationship with other family members and friends. This is mostly achieved through strategic discussions that enable every member of the family to speak out their feelings, perceptions, and opinions about a particular issue (Rasheed et al, 2011).
In conclusion, group and family therapy are very important approaches of dealing with stress and other psychological issues. These counseling approaches are facilitated in such a way that the participants are able to draw on each other’s experiences and consequently be able to cultivate healthy relationships.