Depression and Anxiety and CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)
The groups conducted use a positive, active, educational approach that focus on how to change and on seeking solutions rather than just simply talking about your past, or "exploring" your feelings and problems. Groups are emotionally supportive and give members the opportunity to express feelings and receive caring in addition to working directly on positive changes in your thinking and your life. Clients learn techniques that help in resolving current areas of difficulty as well as learning skills that will be useful in preventing relapse and in dealing with future life challenges.
Benefiting from Group Therapy
Good support groups can offer a variety of benefits, from the emotional to the practical. The benefits of support groups include
- Making connections. Meeting others with depression or another mental health condition may make you feel less alone or isolated. A safe and welcoming environment, filled with compassion and understanding, can also reduce any stigma you may feel over having depression or another mental disorder.
- Improving your coping skills. Support groups offer the chance to draw on collective experiences. Others who have "been there" may have tips or advice about coping with your condition that hadn't occurred to you. Brainstorming with others may inspire even more ideas. For instance, swapping information about antidepressants for depression can help you see how others handle side effects. Getting motivated. Support groups can encourage you to seek professional treatment if you haven't yet. They also may encourage you to take a more active role in your treatment or stick to your treatment plan when you feel like giving up. And they may help you tap into community resources, such as housing or transportation assistance.
- Finding hope. Sharing experiences and making connections can make you feel better about life in general. Seeing others make strides against depression or another mental illness may give you hope about your own future.
You may be nervous about sharing personal issues with people you don't know. At first, you may reap benefits simply by listening. Over time, contributing your own ideas and experiences can help you get more out of a support group.