Most of my therapy has been individual, and I shied away from group therapy due to the fact that I was uncomfortable sharing my problems relating to depression and sexual abuse with a bunch of strangers. To be honest, my biggest fear was losing it and looking like an idiot if I started bawling my eyes out! However, I had no choice at the eating disorder program, it was 90% group and about 10% individual therapy.
I loathed it initially, others speaking out about themselves, revealing deep dark secrets that they had been holding onto, and slowly I became to trust them and I opened up. In short, it was very helpful in my recovery, yet I have to say honestly, I still prefer one-on-one. Give it a try though, it may suit you.
This article appeared in PsychCentral.com
Individual psychotherapy will always be the staple. It establishes the bond. It explores the ups and downs of that bond and probes the depths of the psychodynamic patterns of that bond and other bonds. It is the primary mode of understanding. It exists of and for itself and is not dependent on anything else. Group therapy is an adjunct to individual therapy.
But the group is often where the action takes place. The more the scarier. It is therapy done in front of witnesses who look on with interested or uninterested eyes, which tends to ramp up the emotions. It is a family, with the therapist acting as the parent and the members becoming siblings, which leads to various family transferences.
If a member comes from a family in which he was abused, he expects abuse from the group and treats them warily and distrustfully. If a member was the princess of her family, she expects to be the princess of the group. Sometimes expectations become self-fulfilling prophecies.
Breakthroughs are overrated. They happen in movies all the time, but more rarely in therapy. However, they are more likely to happen in groups. People sometimes have romances with groups. Sometimes they join groups and feel the acceptance and support of the group and are immediately catapulted to a giddy high. Later, when reality sets in and they start having the same problems with the people in the group as they have in their lives outside the group, they sink into an all-time low. They may start looking for reasons to get out of the group, just as they might look for reasons to get out of a relationship that has turned sour.
The remainder of this article @ PsychCentral.com http://blogs.psychcentral.com/psychoanalysis-now/2015/03/the-glories-of-group-therapy/