Group Therapy

Group Therapy is a type of therapy where a small group of individuals (6-12 members) meet with a trained group therapist for the purpose of personal growth and healing. Members agree to maintain confidentiality – to not discuss any group content outside the group. During sessions, members decide what they want to talk about, and while openness is encouraged, no one is forced to reveal information that they choose to keep private. Through interacting with others in the group, members learn and understand more about themselves and their effect on others through the feedback they receive, and thereby can improve their interpersonal relationships. People in the group help one another, as well as find relief for depression, anxiety, isolation, and other difficulties. In this environment where trust and safety are built, members can express their thoughts and feelings more freely than they may be able to do outside. The therapist helps to keep the group on track and fosters a conducive environment for sharing, feedback and support. The therapeutic approach of the therapist may be any of the various forms of psychotherapy, from psychodynamic to behavioral, and the style may be psychoeducational (for learning skills) to process-oriented (for gaining insight). Group therapy is similar to support groups with regard to alleviation of symptoms, enhancing coping, offering alternatives and providing comfort, but change is also emphasized, especially in the area of interpersonal relating. Support groups and group therapy are both led by a trained therapist, whereas in self-help groups, a professional is usually not present.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has been demonstrated by many research studies to be the most effective approach to therapy for a variety of psychological problems. The therapy relationship is collaborative and goal-oriented, and the focus on thoughts, beliefs, assumptions and behaviors is key. In CBT, the goal is for a person to develop more realistic and rational perspectives, and make healthier behavioral choices, as well as to feel relief from negative emotional states. Specific techniques, strategies and methods are used to help people to improve their mood, relationships and work performance. A CBT approach may be used in individual therapy, couples counseling and group therapy.

Schema Therapy is similar to cognitive therapy in that the focus is on correcting problems in a person’s habitual patterns of thinking and feeling, and corresponding difficulties in his or her behavioral coping style. The focus is on identifying and understanding, and then challenging and overcoming the long-standing maladaptive patterns in thinking, feeling and behavior that create obstacles for a person in getting needs met and attaining life goals. As with standard CBT, the goal is for the person to feel better and enjoy greater life satisfaction.

CTA is a network of experienced therapists in the NY metro area who provide Cognitive Therapy and Schema-Focused Therapy. To inquire about an appointment, please call us at 212-258-2577.

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