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Why Does Group Therapy for Depression Work?

The concept behind group therapy is fairly simple: bring together like-minded individuals with similar issues and allow them to discuss issues in a controlled and moderated environment.

Problems With Isolation

Some people with depression feel as though nowhere makes them feel comfortable. Due to this, they resort to staying at home and isolating themselves. With modern technology, they may not even need to leave the house for groceries or even doctor appointments. For these people, there is no way to pull themselves from their problems because isolation allows them to repeat depressive thoughts in their heads. This puts them at a disadvantage because social interaction is one of the best ways to combat depression. Regular interaction with others has been shown to foster a positive outlook and boost confidence.

The power of depression can take people who were not initially depressed and place them in a spiral. Many had this happen during the COVID-19 pandemic. They found themselves stuck at home for over a year with very little in-person interaction.  

For a number of people, it was their first time dealing with the effects of depression, which led to a rise in telehealth sessions with therapists. Unfortunately, once the pandemic ended and people were allowed to leave their homes again, many opted to telecommute instead. This self-isolation has only led to more depressive thoughts and more isolation.  

Group therapy can be a great tool for people with all types of depression. With so much self-isolation and time for all the wrong kinds of self-reflection, it is comforting to have others who are in the same boat. Sharing can be a key part of getting people out of their shells, and group therapy is an ideal way to accomplish this.

The Need for Motivation

There are plenty of reasons to get into group therapy when you feel overwhelmingly depressed. Finding that motivation may be hard at first, but once someone has access to group therapy for depression, they will have a higher likelihood of finding answers to the various ancillary issues they may be facing.  

If you know someone that has a hard time finding motivation due to depression, it may be appropriate to talk with them. You can introduce the concept of group therapy as a viable option. Some people may say that they are in individual therapy and that they feel it is enough. However, the fact is that there are a number of things that can motivate a person.  

Some common motivators for people include:

  • Family: Sometimes, the best thing for people is to know that their family wants them to do something. In the case of depression, it may feel good to realize that people care about them enough to want them healthy.
  • Friends: Some find motivation from those around them rather than family. In these cases, a person may feel that if their friends are that concerned about them, there must be something they need to work on.
  • Goals: Many find motivation in creating goals for themselves. If someone is depressed, they may find that making a list of goals will point them toward options like group therapy.
  • Fear: For some people, the thought that their depression will worsen can be a great motivator. The knowledge that they are in a bad place that could get worse may be just the kick they need to seek better treatment.
  • Other: Everyone has their own version of positive motivation. If you know someone who needs to be motivated, it might be best to talk with them and uncover what moves them.

Shared Experience

While many people with depression benefit from individual therapy, many also find more comfort in a group setting. The fact is that talking to others who share the same experience can leave a person feeling better. Two or more people can connect over a shared situation and are more likely to see that person as a confidante and put their trust in each other. 

When people are concerned for each other as they go through the same experience, it shows those with depression that what they are going through is not hopeless. They realize there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that there is proof because others have found it. In some cases, there may even be friendships formed. This can pull people further out of their self-isolation and set them on a better path faster than traditional individual therapy.

Ending the Stigma

Group therapy has been used in treating a variety of issues for quite some time. Whether it is substance abuse, anxiety, or depression, group therapy is a great way for people to connect and heal. If you know someone that would benefit from this type of program, break the stigma and offer them support.

The fear of depression may be the biggest motivator for battling it. In an effort to overcome this fear, it is often necessary to involve others. Group therapy can be a source of stability for those who have lost themselves in their own feelings. Once a person starts their time in the group, they will learn about themselves through the words and advice of others in similar situations. No matter where you find yourself in your depression, it is worth seeking help and finding it from a reputable organization. At The Phoenix Recovery Center, we are prepared to offer you the assistance you need to feel better. We understand that depression is not something to be taken lightly at any level and want to make sure you nip it in the bud before it becomes too much to handle. For information, call The Phoenix Recovery Center at (801) 438-3185.

The Phoenix Recovery Center
489 W. South Jordan Pkwy
Suite 400
South Jordan, UT