The Top 4 Benefits of Support Groups for Therapists
Do you feel alone in your practice as a therapist? Have your stress levels risen during the pandemic years as COVID-19 magnified tension, despair, and chaos?
Are you searching for a way to connect with others feeling the same? Or would you love to develop your professional skillset in a peer group?
Support groups for therapists have always offered a valuable service, maybe more so throughout the past few years. Just as you support others, you need support for yourself. And who better to support you than those who understand the therapeutic trenches, other therapists who’ve trudged through the pandemic years too?
With that and numerous additional advantages that come with connecting with fellow experts, it’s no wonder support groups for therapists are becoming increasingly popular!
Support Groups for Therapists: A Popular Trend
Are you a support group member?
It can be a wonderful step. That’s why many therapists have embraced this collective practice.
If you run groups for your clients, you know the potentially profound benefits. These gatherings also offer important benefits for therapists.
As the book Self-Help and Support Groups: A Handbook for Practitioners says, “Support groups meet for the purpose of giving emotional support and information to persons with a common problem.” Emotional support and information that therapists very much need.
Support groups for therapists can expand your network, increase your exposure to different therapeutic approaches, provide a platform to ask and answer questions and, of course, provide a safe place to debrief and gain emotional support.
Expand your network
Meeting other experts in your field puts you in contact with an expanded network. Referrals can turbocharge your client base, practice growth, and profits.
See, while you might think of other therapists as competition, often they’re not. Therapists frequently concentrate on a specific niche, a specialized market segment. This means the types of conditions or people they treat are intentionally limited. Fine-tuned, so to speak. They will meet with people better served by another therapist, those outside their niche. So, they might refer. If you provide the required care, you can become the therapist they refer to.
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Tip: If you currently don’t serve a niche (or specific niches), we recommend you consider doing so. Watch our Fall Into Cash webinar, Don’t Be The Applebee’s Of Therapy – Choose Your Practice Niche or read our blog, to understand why you should and how to choose a niche correctly.
Gain exposure to different therapeutic approaches
There is so much to learn, yet we can become streamlined; caught in our own ways of doing things. Believing what we do is the best approach. However, when you interact with other therapists regularly — a benefit of being part of one or several support groups for therapists — you gain exposure to therapeutic approaches that you may not have explored or known about.
If your interest is piqued, you might train in a different technique. You could gain a fresh way of thinking. You might even discover a new way to practice. Whether you add one tool to your healing toolkit or head in a more powerful direction, exposure to other experts in your field can have a positive professional impact on yourself and your clients.
Provide a platform to ask and answer questions
Support groups are ideal places to ask and answer questions, both in the professional and personal realms.
As a therapist, you’re faced with unique situations and interactions. Sometimes caring for a client will stump you. You’ll hit a roadblock and be unsure how to proceed. You cannot seek advice from your spouse or best friend about a clinical situation. However, you can ask for insights and advice when part of a professional support group. The group will have therapists with various techniques, years of practice, and philosophies. These colleagues can be a wealth of knowledge!
You also hold great wisdom. Sharing this with other therapists gives back to the community and feels good.
Gain emotional support
There are unique challenges that come with supporting others’ health, those peculiar to the healing professions. Being in a community of like-minded professionals can provide understanding, empathy, reassurance, and ways of addressing stress that can remain invisible to those outside the vocation.
You will meet people who’ve experienced and triumphed over similar challenges to those you currently face. This can provide light in the darkness. You’ll also act as a light for others.
Emotional support is important, whether your work environment or personal life creates stress and strains. Support groups are growing for this reason.
A study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research found an increasing trend to seek mental health care from support groups. This isn’t surprising given the previous restrictions associated with COVID-19, the ability to join support groups online, and the benefits. The report, The effectiveness of support groups: literature review, found:
There is strong, scientifically rigorous evidence that shows the effectiveness of professionally facilitated, family-led support groups, psychoeducation carers support groups, and professionally facilitated, program-based support groups for people living with mental illness.
Support groups can help both those will mental health challenges and those without. Yes, yourself included.
Tip: Prioritizing your mental and emotional well-being is essential. Yet, many therapists report struggling to commit to their own health. If this sounds familiar, we share ways to put yourself first in our article, Walk The Talk: Prioritizing Your Own Mental Health.
Different Types of Support Groups: Online and In-Person, Training or Support
There are different types of support groups for therapists. Groups that are online and in-person can both be effective. You can also find groups to enhance your training and expertise and support you in practice. Choose one — or more — to suit your needs.
Unsure how to find the right group?
Talk to therapists you know. There’s a chance they might run, be a member, or know of an appropriate group.
Try an online search for phrases like “therapist group” or “support group for therapists.”
Sign up for our free email course to learn how you can expand your reach by transitioning from a solo to a group practice in 6 easy-to-follow steps.
If you need support with a particular challenge or health issue, hone your search for targeted phrases. These don’t need to be therapist-specific.
You might search generally if you’re happy to try an online approach. For example, “support group for anxiety,” “support group for stress,” or “support group for burnout.”
If you’d like to join an in-person group, add “near me.” For example, “support group for anxiety near me,” “support group for stress near me,” or “support group for burnout near me.”
Check out different platforms. You will find a range of therapist groups on Facebook that will connect you to others in the field from all around the world.
You will likely find a Meetup group to fit your needs.
At GroupTherapyCentral, there is a helpful list of 25+ online groups for therapists. This resource’s page includes links to …
- Online process training groups for therapists with Nate Page
- Process and consultation groups for therapists with Sophia Aguirre
- Virtual interstate support and process group for mental health providers with Ellen Bronder
- Attachment-focused somatic experiencing training group with Carlos Canales
- Zoom process group for Asian Pacific Islander South Asian American therapists and trainees with Teresa Lee and Robert Hsiung
- Process-oriented training group for clinicians with Britt Raphling
- Racial literacy groups with Christine Schmidt and Rudy Lucas
- Online modern analytic training group for therapists with Dave Kaplowitz
- Online training group for therapists with Katie Griffin and Joseph Acosta
- Case-consult and process group for therapists with Rebecca Compton
- 6-step group supervision for therapists with Arthur Gray
- Support your well-being with Cindy Hardwick
Brainstorm ideas and you’ll be sure to find what you need.
Join a Support Group Today
Support groups are and will continue to serve as excellent resources now and in the future. The benefits of joining a support group for therapists range from expanding your network to exposing you to different therapeutic approaches, providing a platform to ask and answer questions, and gaining the emotional support you need.
Support groups can provide much-needed strength and comfort to those who provide much-needed support to others. You deserve to stay well and flourish!
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