Group therapy for depression helps those suffering from depression by introducing them to others suffering from the same condition. The therapy focuses on sharing experiences, developing social networks, and learning ways to help cope with depression. Group therapy for depression is often used in conjunction with other types of therapy for treating depression, such as individual therapy and medication.
Those with depression can benefit from a variety of therapies aimed at relieving their symptoms and giving them back their life. Symptoms associated with depression include intense sadness, loss of joy in once enjoyable activities, and fatigue. Depression can also lead to social withdrawal and interfere with obtaining career and life goals.
Group therapy for depression focuses on finding ways to cope with depression. One of the biggest benefits group therapy for depression offers is providing a sense of belonging. When a person with depression realizes they aren’t alone in the fight against depression, they are often relieved and more willing to envision a hopeful outcome.
The format and session lengths may vary, but all group therapy sessions are led by a professional therapist. Sessions are typically held on a regular basis, possibly weekly, and serve as a way for those with depression to talk about their feelings and any problems they may be having. The therapist allows the group to connect and share, and intervenes when necessary to point out common themes and help direct discussion.
Professional therapists trained in group therapy for depression also provide members with tools and advice for overcoming obstacles. This can include how to replace destructive thinking with positive and productive thinking. These tools are often exercises that need to be completed on a repetitive basis for those with depression to develop new habits.
Group therapy may include patients with other mental illnesses. Depression can and does develop alongside anxiety and panic disorder in some people. In these cases, a group therapy session that addresses a variety of mental health disorders may benefit those with depression.
In addition to group therapy, those with depression may seek out alternative therapies to help improve individual progress in coping with depression. This can include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy (IPT). In CBT, patients focus on developing new behavioral patterns and changing patterns of thinking that may lead to depressive episodes. Those undergoing IPT therapy often focus on how others may impact and alter their moods and behaviors leading to depressive episodes.