Group therapy is a type of psychotherapy that involves one or more therapists working with several people at the same time. Group therapy is integrated into a comprehensive treatment plan that also includes individual therapy and medication.
Types of groups:
1. Psychodynamic groups: Psychodynamic therapy, also known as insight-oriented therapy, focuses on unconscious processes as they are manifested in a person’s present behaviour. The goals of psychodynamic therapy are a client’s self-awareness, and understanding of the influence of the past on present behaviour. In its brief form, a psychodynamic approach enables the client to examine unresolved conflicts and symptoms that arise from past dysfunctional relationships, and manifest themselves in the need and desire to abuse substances.
2. Support groups – twelve- step groups: A twelve-step programme is a set of guiding principles (accepted by members as "spiritual principles," based on the approved literature), outlining a course of action for recovery from addiction, compulsion, or other behavioural problems. Originally proposed by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) as a method of recovery from alcoholism, the Twelve Steps were first published in the book Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How More Than One Hundred Men Have Recovered from Alcoholism in 1939. The method was then adapted and became the foundation of other twelve-step programmes. The programme is used to treat addiction and co-dependence.
3. Skills-training groups - such as anger management, mindfulness, relaxation training or social skills training: In recent years, the field of psychiatric rehabilitation has shifted from viewing the client as a passive recipient of treatment, to one who is actively involved in the management of his or her illness. Whether it be the weekly cooking classes, or discussions on how to approach social situations, skills development on all levels is critical.
4. Psychoeducation groups: In the past 10 years there has been growing interest in psychoeducational interventions delivered as adjuncts to conventional management. As part of their routine care, clients are given accurate information about their diagnosis, treatment and prognosis and about how they can help themselves to stay well. Families are often part of these personalised sessions.
5. Expressive group therapies: These therapies occur on a weekly basis with guest therapists. Expressive therapy is nonverbal mental health therapy, based on a person’s natural expression in art, dance, drama, music, poetry, colour and equine outings, which reflects internal conflicts and emotional imbalances.
6. Dialectical Behaviour Therapy: Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) treatment is a cognitive-behavioural approach that emphasizes the psychosocial aspects of treatment. The theory behind the approach is that some people are prone to react in a more intense and out-of-the-ordinary manner toward certain emotional situations, primarily those found in romantic, family and friend relationships. DBT theory suggests that some people’s arousal levels in such situations can increase far more quickly than the average person’s, attain a higher level of emotional stimulation, and take a significant amount of time to return to baseline arousal levels.
7. Trauma Therapy: Our trauma-focused therapy uses a range of techniques for the purpose of dissipating the difficult feelings experienced by the trauma related to having a mental illness and other traumas. We work to change in clients thoughts, beliefs and behaviour. The principal techniques in trauma-focused therapy are exposure, cognitive restructuring and learning methods for emotional and physical adjustment.