Structured Therapeutic Groups

21 December 2023

Structured therapeutic groups are structured programs with specific topics and skills for people with common therapeutic issues and needs, guided by mental health professionals. The group agenda is designed to meet precise therapeutic objectives, and can differ depending on group type and therapeutic requirements.

Types Of Groups

Psychoeducation Groups

Educates participants on the nature of the specific mental health disorder, treatment options, medication management, and lifestyle factors that affect their mental health, and to recognize and manage symptoms.

Practical skills and strategies, to manage and cope with symptoms, such as problem-solving, communication, stress management skills, and cognitive-behavioral techniques are taught.

Information and skills are provided to make informed decisions about one’s own mental health, so as to play an active role in own treatment and healing.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Groups

Help identify and challenge negative or distorted thought patterns and behaviors in order to achieve balanced and realistic thinking and behaviour.

Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound (SMART) goals are set to help individuals work towards positive changes and improvement.

Behavior modification, exposure therapy, and behavioral strategies are taught to help modify dysfunctional behaviors that create distress or impede daily activities, and block progress towards goals.

Coping skills- assertiveness, problem-solving, effective communication and relaxation techniques are taught to manage anxiety, stress, depression, and other emotional challenges.

Psychoeducation about how thoughts affect feelings and behaviors which in turn affect mental health and functioning.

Support Groups

Structured gatherings to share feelings, experiences, challenges, and coping techniques related to life issues, challenges, and physical or mental health problems.

Supportive, non-judgemental platform to share similar struggles, fears, and frustrations, and for empathy, understanding, emotional validation and encouragement.

Valuable information and resources, insights, practical tips are shared to help one another navigate challenges.

Peer mentorship by those who have successfully overcome similar issues.

Process Groups

Provide insight into communication styles and patterns of interaction.

Facilitate sharing of immediate thoughts, emotions, and reactions, and present-moment experiences to foster authenticity and self-awareness.

Mutual feedback helps gain understanding and awareness of one’s unconscious problematic behavior, communication and interaction styles.

Expression and exploration of emotions helps provide self-understanding of underlying emotional issues.

Substance Abuse Groups

Focus on treatment for both substance use and mental health issues, minimizing the negative consequences of substance use, promote safer behaviors, coping skills, relapse prevention strategies.

Encourage recreational activities and hobbies.

Teach life skills such as time management, goal setting, budgeting, communication, motivational techniques to strengthen commitment to recovery by setting meaningful goals.

Dialectical Behaviot Therapy (DBT) Groups

Train members on emotional regulation and distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness and mindfulness techniques.

Trauma Focus Groups

Address the after-effects of trauma and promote healing, build coping skills for managing trauma-related symptoms and provide a safe space for processing traumatic experiences.

Family Therapy Groups

Help members improve family communication and dynamics, resolve conflicts, help families to deal with specific challenges such as addiction or mental illness.

Social Skills Group

Help members acquire and improve skills such as interpersonal and social skills, communication and relationship-building skills, overcome shyness or social anxiety.

Anger Management Groups

Help identify anger triggers, learn healthy ways to express and manage anger, and teach conflict resolution skills.

Benefits Of Theraupetic Groups

A cohesive and supportive space for individuals to come together, share their problems, learn coping techniques, and work towards personal development and healing.

Individuals share experiences, ask questions and validate each other's struggles. Normalizing the issues faced by each person helps reduce feelings of loneliness and stigma.

Strategies learnt are practiced and reinforced in the group and in real-life conditions.

Experiences shared before and after practice reinforces learning from one another through sharing, feedback, observation and encouragement.

Diverse participant needs and mental health issues are addressed and can be applied in various settings, including hospitals, community centres, and outpatient clinics.

Mueser, K. T., & Gingerich, S. R. (2006). Psychoeducational Groups for Patients with Schizophrenia: A Guide for Practitioners. Falloon, I. R. H., & Mueser, K. T. (1994). Family Work in the Early Stages of Schizophrenia.