22 Sep Benefits of Group Therapy for Anxiety
The National Institute of Behavioral Health reports that over 30% of U.S. adults struggle with some type of anxiety disorder during their lifetimes. About 19% of the U.S. population was affected by an anxiety condition in 2018, and women were more likely to struggle with it versus men. Anxiety is a common behavioral health condition, and it’s important to understand how it affects people and why.
Anxiety Versus Anxiety Disorder
Normal feelings of anxiety occur in everyone almost every day. You might feel anxious before going to a job interview or taking a test in school. Feeling anxious is a normal thing when presented with something potentially stressful or challenging. However, an anxiety disorder presents a bit differently. This is when you have uncontrolled anxious feelings in situations that normally shouldn’t cause them. People who have anxiety disorders feel anxious constantly. They have a hard time relaxing in many situations. Social anxiety is a common disorder where a person feels anxious in public places. They feel like everyone is watching them or judging them. There are a few different types of anxiety disorders, including the following:
• Panic disorders
• Generalized anxiety
• Social anxiety
All three can be difficult to deal with and keep people from living a normal life with a healthy mental and emotional state.
How Group Therapy Can Help Treat Anxiety
Group therapy for anxiety can help people successfully deal with this disorder. It starts by giving them a chance to interact with others who have the same condition. They can see that they’re not alone in suffering from anxiety. By interacting with a group, they can also find new ways to deal with the challenges that come from the disorder. Group therapy for anxiety has the following benefits for participants:
• Reduced feelings of isolation
• Improved social skills
• New chances to learn about themselves
• Access to an organic support system
• Practice for real-life stress
• Ability to help others
Group Therapy For Anxiety Removes Isolation
One of the most common aspects of behavioral health treatment is removing the sense of isolation that many patients feel. People who suffer from behavioral health conditions very often feel like they are completely alone in their struggles. They see people around them going about their daily lives seemingly without any mental discomfort or abnormal emotions. They then wonder why they can’t do the same, and why everything is so hard for them. This causes them to feel depressed and alone.
Working in a group with others who also have behavioral health problems like anxiety shows you that you’re not alone and that there are others who also have struggles getting through their everyday lives. You have the opportunity to share your struggles and get feedback from people who understand.
Group Therapy For Anxiety Can Improve Social Skills
It’s often hard for people with anxiety to communicate in social situations. They might feel nervous about saying the wrong thing or only saying negative things due to their internal frustrations. This causes them to limit their social interactions, and they often feel sad and lonely as a result. Being in a group of people struggling with the same issues allows you to communicate with others who understand your frustrations. This practice can give you a much-needed confidence boost and help you cope better in future social situations.
Learning About Yourself Through Group Therapy For Anxiety
Group therapy can teach you more about yourself by talking with others about your condition and discussing your fears, challenges and emotions. Opening up about how certain things make you feel is emotionally liberating and can help you form a more powerful sense of self. It can also help you accept yourself and your condition.
Group therapy for anxiety allows you to see how others perceive you based on your words and actions. This might help you find some of the causes of your anxious feelings and allow you to discover solutions.
Build a Support System
Group therapy is more about the members in the group supporting each other rather than the therapist providing support. All members are encouraged to discuss problems and ideas with each other and provide feedback and support. This helps members grow organic connections with others who have similar struggles.
For example, if one group member talks about how it’s hard for them to make friends, then the others listen and eventually share their own experiences and how they dealt with them. The member with the problem can listen and apply the ideas from others to their own problem.
Practice Makes Perfect
When you’re suffering from anxiety, you probably avoid a lot of real-life situations for fear of how to deal with them. Group therapy for anxiety implements roleplaying where each member has the opportunity to practice responding in various scenarios. The key is that the members involved in the roleplaying also suffer from anxiety and that makes it more comfortable for everyone. It’s easier to practice how you would respond when you know that everyone else knows how you feel.
Whether you have anxiety or another behavioral health condition, a supportive group can give you the confidence you need to go back into the real world and apply your newfound skills.
Group therapy is also an effective anxiety treatment as it allows people to help others and be helped by others. Everyone is on a different journey in coping with anxiety, and it often helps to hear how others deal with their challenges. It tends to be very satisfying when your experiences help others deal with their challenges as well. As you learn from other anxiety sufferers, the other members can learn from you. Knowing that you’re making a big difference in someone else’s life can provide a major boost of confidence.
Cost-Effective Behavioral Health Treatment
Another reason why group therapy for anxiety is beneficial is that it’s usually less expensive than individual sessions with a therapist. Less cost doesn’t mean less effective though. Group cognitive behavioral therapy might be one of the most effective treatments for anxiety available. Group CBT can help anxiety by promoting social interaction with people who have similar problems.
Behavioral Health Treatment at New Method Wellness
If you suffer from anxiety or know someone who does, New Method Wellness can help. We offer a wide range of treatment programs for behavioral health and substance abuse. We are a dual diagnosis treatment center dedicated to providing individualized treatment through our licensed clinicians. Some of our programs include the following:
Find an effective treatment for anxiety today by calling New Method Wellness at 866.951.1824