At New Transitions Counseling Center, we offer several different support groups because we sincerely believe in their benefits. While individual therapy offers many advantages, a support group can be a great option for treatment, whether on its own or in conjunction with one-on-one time with a counselor. Support groups are an incredible tool for your care; however, you may have hesitations about opening up in a group setting like that. Mental health is an intimate thing, and it may intimidate you to think about talking about your issues with a room full of people. However, there are several reasons why support groups are worth your time. In this blog, we will go over ways you can benefit from support groups.
You Realize That You Are Not Alone
One of the most powerful things you can get from support groups is feeling less alone. Mental illness makes you feel isolated. When things get difficult for you personally, it’s easy to feel like you are the only person in the world who feels this way, particularly if you are someone who tends to turn away from the rest of the world during times of trouble. Unfortunately, this only makes feelings of loneliness, worthlessness, and inadequacy worse. A support group can inherently be healing because it shows you that there are many others who share similar experiences. This comes as a huge relief, as there is a room full of people who understand you and can encourage and help you.
You Learn to Open Up
In the context of a supportive group of people, you learn how to express your feelings better. You have a safe space full of people who know where you are coming from and can relate to all the emotions you are experiencing. This is often very healing for people, particularly for those who have felt misunderstood for feeling the way they did in the past. In the support group environment, being open and honest is both expected and praised as a courageous act. You don’t have to worry about anyone stifling what you have to say; the group members listen nonjudgmentally and appreciate your frankness.
You Have Access to New Information
An individual therapist can connect you to incredible resources, but a support group offers you an entire room full of new information. You can learn many tips for handling certain issues from people who have experienced those issues for themselves within your community. Chances are, any problem you have, someone else in the group has gone through it and is able to tell you how they moved forward. Additionally, many support groups are focused on learning certain coping skills, so you are learning new information as a group.
You Develop Better Social Skills
One of the support groups we offer at New Transitions is an adult social therapy group for those with social skill challenges. For people with autism spectrum disorders, these support groups offer invaluable help in the form of an environment where they can test out talking and connecting to others. Any support group offers an element of social skills help, and this is particularly advantageous for anyone who struggles with mental illness, which often causes people to withdraw. After all, not everyone is going to understand your struggle, but in a support group, you can relax and be comfortable because you know that they do.
In our next blog, we will continue to go over the benefits of support groups. In the meantime, if you need counseling in Palatine, IL, contact New Transitions Counseling Center.