Group therapy is a well-established therapeutic modality for older individuals often conducted in combination with individual psychotherapy and group leaders. Group leaders must be aware of age-specific factors when working with older citizens, including the presence of cognitive impairment, physical disability, and loss of independence.
A number of studies have found that various forms of group therapy have proved to be beneficial for depression and other symptoms and have helped patients recover efficiently with the help of psychotherapy. Group Therapy is one such intervention for people with dementia that provides engagement and enhances self-esteem, reduces isolation and creates a routine.
Group therapy usually includes a small group of people and 1 or 2 therapists or facilitators. The members of the group start by introducing themselves. The module and design of the therapy session is usually moderated according to the cognitive level and interest areas of the members. Such sessions are also conducted online these days. Group Thera is a very good platform for online group therapy.
A study showed that Group therapy was effective as compared to people who didnot receive any treatment: group therapy significantly reduced depression at post-treatment and at follow-up; the ES post-treatment was 1.026 (range: -0.07 to 2.30; 95% CI: 0.565, 1.487); the ES at follow-up (10 studies) was 1.178 (95% CI: 0.586, 1.764). This seems to be a good proof of how effective is group therapy in treating the patients and helping them with speedy recovery. (*ES - Expert Systems and *CI - Continuous Improvement)
The sessions generally focus on discussions on various aspects and also include group activities that provide stimulation for thinking, concentration and memory. Group therapy offers a range of delightful activities aimed at general improvement of cognitive and social functioning.
In group therapy, a moderator leads a session which usually lasts for one-two hours. The moderator controls the flow of the conversations and encourages the members to participate in activities and share their feelings, views or experiences.
Group therapy in elderly has several positive effects:
Non-judgemental and Supportive Environment – In group therapy the senior citizens are provided non-judgmental and supportive environment which helps in building trust. This makes it easier for the person to open up and express their experiences, views and feelings.
Connect With People – Group therapy gives the opportunity to connect with people. Socializing becomes difficulty for people with dementia and other old age ailments. Being around people with similar problems makes it easier for them to connect.
Reduction in Negative Thinking – Being around people and engaging in conversations improves their confidence even outside the group. Support from other group members is a crucial factor in helping them overcome negative thinking and isolation.
Boosting Self Esteem – Seniors become comfortable and start understanding the other members of the group, and it helps them deal better with their situation and helps boost their self esteem. Being a part of the group, they see and realize their own capabilities aswell.
Conducive learning environment – With more people around, there is less focus on one person. This reduces anxiety and creates an environment optimal for learning. They learn to accept themselves and others which becomes the most important learning for people of their generation.
Opportunity to Reach Out and Support Others – Group therapy not only provides an opportunity to receive feedback and advice, it also gives an opportunity to reach out and support others. In such discussions members get to learn that they still have so much to contribute and how useful they are for others. They enjoy contributing for other people's wellbeing. This improves their happiness level and self esteem.
In case if you wish to join any of the group therapy sessions, or in case if you are a provider and wish to organize a group therapy session, you can visit https://grouptherapy.com. You can also reach out to us at +1 617-775-3429 or email at [email protected]