March 14, 2024

Understanding Group Therapy Dynamics

By: Ava
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Table of Contents

Medicially Reviewed By:
Dr. Priya Chaudhri
credentials here

Group therapy is a cornerstone of all drug treatment programs. Within a group setting, each client develops the essential social and behavioral skills needed to support a new sober lifestyle. While effective, the dynamics of group counseling can at times be tricky to navigate. Understanding the intricacies of group therapy dynamics will help you get the most of this effective treatment program.

If you are looking for drug addiction or mental health treatment, group therapy is essential in helping you achieve lasting recovery. At Elevation Behavioral Health, group therapy is the foundation of our evidence-based mental health programs. Our luxury mental health treatment center in California offers individualized treatment and state-of-the-art amenities. Call us today to learn more about how we can help you heal. 

What Is Group Therapy In Reality?

When people think about group therapy, they may simply look at it as a random group of people who are placed with a counselor to talk about their addiction and associated issues.

This is not completely true.

In reality, group therapy has a method to its madness. Generally, group therapy consists of groups of six to 12 people on average who meet on a regular basis with one or two experienced therapists. The clients in a specific group are carefully chosen depending on the severity of their issues, backgrounds, and other factors. With this attention to group therapy dynamics, clients who are in these groups have an increased chance of staying engaged in treatment and having more positive outcomes.

What Are Common Aspects That Affect Group Therapy Dynamics?

The dynamics of group counseling can be as varied as the clients that are in the groups themselves. However, there are aspects that affect group dynamics in group therapy that are common across most, if not all, groups.

The Training Of The Therapists

The first and most obvious of aspects affecting group therapy dynamics is the overall training and experience of the therapist or therapists. Therapists who facilitate group therapy sessions must have extensive training and clinical experience in working with a wide variety of clients as well as addictions. Also, therapists must have vast working knowledge of an array of mental health issues that can impact group therapy. Additionally, therapists in group therapy must be able to identify areas of possible conflict between group members and have tremendous skills in diffusing situations before they impact the therapy experience.

Choosing the Group

As stated earlier, clients that enter group therapy are not at random. Therapists choose group members carefully through the use of interviewing, questionnaires, and other high-quality screening techniques. When these screening procedures are used, clients may be more motivated to stick with therapy.

Setting Expectations Before Treatment

When clients enter treatment, they need to understand that group therapy isn’t a quick process. Clients need to be reminded that it will take considerable time to undo the damage that was caused by addiction. If a client’s expectations clash with that reality, they may be a better candidate for individual therapy or other interventions.

Building Cohesion

The key to solid group therapy dynamics is having everyone being on the same page and respectful of each other. While there are some cases where group members fall in line and become cohesive organically, there are others where it may take time for cohesion to come together. In those cases, therapists may utilize more group activities, practice icebreakers, or break the group into pairs to help group members get to know each other.


In order for group therapy to be successful, group members must feel comfortable giving feedback to each other and therapists. The group therapy environment must be warm, inviting, and non-judgmental. Therapists should be able to provide channels for clients to talk about their therapy experiences openly and without fear of being left out or shunned.

Elevation Behavioral Health Will Help You Regain Your Mind, Body, And Spirit

Mental illness and drug addiction wreak havoc on the lives of those struggling with addiction and those they love the most. If you are looking for a drug rehab that features programs and support to restore you as a whole, call Elevation Behavioral Health today. Our luxury rehab features evidence-based residential, outpatient, and transitional housing programs that are tailored to meet your specific needs.

We employ cutting-edge therapies and compassionate care that allows you to address your issues in a safe and supportive environment. Start living your best life and call Elevation Behavioral Health today.

Our team of experts is here to help you.