Group Therapy

Group therapy is the practice of one or more therapist working with several people at the same time. It aims to relieve stress and distress by discussing and expressing feelings with others in ways that help change attitudes, behaviours, and habits while promoting constructive and adaptive ways of coping. It is generally used in connection with other therapeutic practices as part of a treatment plan.

Principles include

  • Being a part of a group of people with similar lived experiences promotes universality and reduces stigma
  • Group members share information, support, and encouragement with each other
  • Sharing strengths and helping others boosts self-esteem and self-confidence
  • The therapy group becomes a family and provide role models as they explore healing together
  • The group setting is great for practicing new behaviours while allowing members to imitate the behaviour of other members
  • Group therapy provides a space for interpersonal learning and catharsis

Group therapy is very cost effective. The therapist can devote their time to a much larger group of people, decreasing the fee per session. The group represents a smaller version of social reality, where each member can learn the triggers of the behaviours and the effective strategies for change and growth.

Group therapy can vary by the number of members, the format, and even by their focus and purpose. The number of members can range from 3 to 12 or more and they may take the format of open (new participants at any time) or closed (same core group) sessions for 1 to 2 hours a week. 

Further reading and resources
Psychology Today: Montreal Group Therapies
Mindspace: Montreal Anxiety and Depression Group Therapy
eMental Health: Free Group Therapies in Montreal
AMI Quebec: Support Groups and FAQs
CAMH: A detailed look into group therapy
Montreal Mental Wellness Clinic: Where to start