Group therapies

What are group therapies?

Group therapy refers to any psychosocial therapy that is administered in a group setting. Group therapy offers the opportunity to redevelop trusting relationships, and a sense of interpersonal safety. The experience that others share similar problems helps to validate traumatic experiences and to normalise trauma responses. Trauma-focused groups integrate memories of the trauma into the therapeutic process to modify the meaning of the trauma for the individual, while non-trauma-focused groups concentrate more on the impact of the trauma on current life issues and behaviours.

What is the evidence for group therapies for PTSD?

Moderate quality evidence found medium-sized improvements in PTSD, anxiety, and depression symptoms following group therapy (mostly cognitive behavioural therapy) compared to no treatment. This effect was slightly reduced but maintained for up to 6 months post-treatment. There was also more remission with group therapy compared to no treatment. Females and non-combat trauma samples showed the largest improvements following group therapy.

There were no differences in PTSD symptoms when group therapy was compared to non-group active treatments or when group therapy plus trauma exposure therapy was compared to group therapy alone.

August 2021

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Last updated at: 5:26 am, 29th July 2021
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