Six Ways Group Therapy Helps Heal Trauma
Updated: Sep 22
Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash
Trauma can have a significant impact on our lives, and healing trauma can be extremely challenging, especially when trying to overcome it without help. However, working together with others in group therapy is a powerful way to both move forward from trauma and to find new friends and community. Humans are naturally social creatures, and working together has always helped us overcome obstacles. The same is true for mental health and well-being. No matter what you’ve faced in your life, you aren’t the only one. By engaging in group therapy, you can heal any trauma life might throw your way.
Building A Community
Humans need contact with others to survive. Those who tend to “go it alone” most or all of the time tend to have greater mental health struggles. Even introverts need communication with others to live a healthy life. Unfortunately, trauma has the tendency to separate people from society.
In group therapy, however, individuals come together and heal. Each group is composed of those who have suffered a similar type of trauma. For example, groups might consist of people who have lost loved ones to cancer, or who have suffered abuse as children. No matter what the shared trauma is, the goal is to create a community for all participants, many of whom grow into lifelong friendships.
Healing Through Helping
Group therapy is a two-way street. While individual sessions focus on the therapist or counselor helping the attendee, group sessions allow you to help others… while also helping yourself. When you help someone through their own tough situation, you gain benefits for yourself, such as:
● The powerful feeling of helping another person
● Personal insights into your own situation
● The experience of seeing someone move through and heal their trauma, which reinforces your own goals and ambitions
Multiple Sources Of Validation
Trauma has a tendency to make us question our own emotions and feelings, and it can be challenging to share those feelings with others. However, sharing our emotions, as well as receiving validation for our emotions, is a significant part of the process to heal trauma.
Individual therapy sessions only provide validation from one person. But in group therapy, all participants can validate your experiences… and receiving that initial validation from a group is often the key to reaching self-validation.
Therapy can be anxiety-inducing for many, especially if a past session or therapist left a bad impression. There’s a lot of pressure in an individual therapy session to get deep and personal right away. And if you don’t, it might feel like you’re wasting your time and money, which only increases the stress surrounding your trauma.
Photo by Naassom Azevedo on Unsplash
Group therapy, on the other hand, is much more low-key and relaxing because there’s no pressure to talk about yourself until you feel ready to do so. In fact, many who attend group therapy find themselves simply listening and offering advice until they’re comfortable sharing their own challenges.
Unique Points Of View
Hearing multiple sources of validation is a major part of healing trauma. But who provides that validation can greatly impact your healing as well. Society makes it easy for us to stay inside our comfort zones, often with those in our own social circles. But connecting with other social groups may help change our worldview. And the more your worldview changes, the easier it is to accept your own situation and find ways to heal.
Attending group therapy allows you to meet people who share your struggles, but may have different backgrounds, which enables you to interact with and learn from a diversity of unique individuals.
When we’re in the thick of our trauma, it can be hard to see a way out. But getting stuck in that mindset just makes it harder to find the solutions we need. Negative thinking makes healing feel impossible, but group therapy can help shift that perspective. Sharing struggles and roadblocks is only part of the group therapy experience. You’ll also find that people will share and celebrate their successes. And when you see others navigate through and emerge from their trauma, it’s easier to picture yourself reaching the same positive outcomes. By teaming up with others and experiencing their journeys together, you can more easily navigate your own path as well.
Group Therapy At Connected Roots
No matter what life throws at you, you don’t have to deal with it alone. At Connected Roots, we have various group therapy options to help you heal and move forward towards a brighter future. We offer support groups for both young adults and adults that can help you work through any problems in your life. If you’re interested in helping others while healing in return, give us a call at 720-593-1062 to learn more about our group therapy options.