ArticleCity.comArticle Categories Group Therapy Works: Here’s 5 Reasons Why It’s Effective

Group Therapy Works: Here’s 5 Reasons Why It’s Effective


UK, 20 December 2023— The number of referrals to NHS Talking Therapies has risen sharply in the past ten years, growing from around 800,000 in 2011/12 to a record 1.8 million in 2021/22.

Yet, despite this positive trend, it is estimated that as many as 8 million people in the UK avoid seeking support when they need it.

There are many reasons for this, but one of the most prevalent is a reluctance to open up to mental health professionals. In fact, in a recent survey of men in the UK, almost a quarter expressed reservations about speaking to a counsellor.

Working towards a more accessible future for mental health support in Essex, Richard Black, the NHS Talking Therapies Digital Services Manager at Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) is proud to have played a role in delivering group therapy to patients in North East and South East Essex.

“As well as offering conventional one-to-one counselling, our service at Therapy For You (the NHS Talking Therapies provider for North East and South East Essex) also provides group therapy – a service that allows people to seek support in a friendly, confidential group instead of speaking with a therapist alone,” explains Black.

“Here, patients develop coping techniques for life that help them better understand and manage their mental wellbeing, alongside peers who are experiencing similar challenges as them.”

“While our sessions are led by qualified practitioners, patients aren’t expected to talk about their personal difficulties. Instead, group therapy focuses more on how they have been affected by their experiences and ways to manage this in the future – something that can be less intimidating for those seeking support.”

How effective is group therapy?

While many find group counselling a more accessible type of treatment, concerns have been raised about the effectiveness of these sessions, and whether it can deliver the same focused support as face-to-face treatment.

However, a recent study has suggested that group counselling is one of the most effective forms of mental health treatment available, especially for young people. In fact, the findings demonstrate that group sessions lead to positive outcomes just as often as individual therapy.

“Although practitioners tend to have a more hands-off approach in group therapy, the open, honest and confidential environment therapists create allows everyone to share their unique experiences, learn together and start their journey to feeling better,” says Black.

“Some groups who complete therapy together also tend to form friendships and support networks that allow them to make positive progress even after their sessions have come to an end, further adding to the efficacy of this treatment.”

5 benefits of group therapy

As well as being a powerful, proven form of mental health treatment, there are a number of distinct benefits that make group sessions a great choice for some.

1. Treatment is highly accessible

Group therapy’s most compelling benefit lies in its confidential, shared environment. Ideal for those averse to one-on-one sessions, these supportive treatments can be a more approachable way for people to open up.

“Rather than talking about their experiences directly, we encourage patients to discuss how they are coping and the changes they make as therapy progresses – something that’s both easier to talk about and hugely motivational for others,” says Black.

2. Participants gain a greater understanding of their condition

For many, living with a mental health problem can feel isolating; like nobody else can relate to what they are experiencing.

“One of the most powerful aspects of group counselling is reinforcing people’s sense that they are not alone,” explains Black. “By attending sessions with patients who share similar difficulties and experiences as them, we find that patients often gain a clearer understanding of their condition.”

3. Patients can develop support networks for life

By listening and learning in a shared space with people who have similar experiences, everyone in attendance can feel supported as they open up about their thoughts, feelings and experiences.

“As well as promoting positive progress during sessions, attendees can form friendships outside of therapy that help them continue to make positive progress as a group, even after counselling has come to an end,” adds Black.

4. Group therapy can be used to treat many challenges

The versatility of group therapy is another big benefit. Useful for addressing all kinds of mental health challenges, these sessions can help improve how patients manage stress, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, grief and many more common problems.

5. Sessions can boost users’ confidence

Additionally, because group therapy is a safe, collaborative environment, people can make positive progress overcoming their mental health difficulties while also improving their confidence – something that can benefit other areas of patients’ lives.

The future of group therapy is bright

As a growing number of individuals in the UK access talking therapies, it is thought that more patients will make the journey through group counselling in the coming years, especially as the benefits of this approach become better understood by the public.

“Highly effective and less intimidating than other therapies, I’m pleased to see group counselling help those who might have otherwise suffered in silence seek the essential support they deserve – something the entire team at Therapy For You are proud to make possible,” says Black.

Richard Black is the NHS Talking Therapies Digital Services Manager at Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) and Clinical Director of Omnitherapy, the only online mental health platform delivering video-based treatment courses, developed and delivered by NHS clinicians.

About Therapy For You:

Therapy For You is the local NHS Talking Therapies provider for Colchester, Tendring, Southend, Castle Point and Rochford, committed to helping people feel better through a range of treatment pathways for anxiety, depression, stress and more, including:

Working in partnership with Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT), Therapy For You remains devoted to breaking down the barriers to mental health access. They have helped 98.6% of its users seek meaningful support and 99.4% to better understand their difficulties through proven treatments and innovative online therapy.

The service provides treatment to individuals aged 18 and above in South East Essex and individuals aged 16 and above in North East Essex who are not currently receiving secondary mental health care or crisis services.

If you would like to learn more about their services, visit their website at, or reach out on 01268 739 128 if you live in South East Essex, or 01206 334 001 if you are a resident of North East Essex.

Originally posted On:

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.