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What Therapy Group is Right for You?

Updated on January 24, 2017

The 5 Types of Therapy Groups

Finding the right group for your needs is an important piece of your therapy process. There are 5 types of groups available: Task, Psycho-educational, Counseling, Psychotherapy, & Self-Help. Continue reading below to see the information regarding each different group.

Group therapy can act as a helping tool during individual counseling or even as a starting place on your therapy journey. Searching for a group can seem stressful, this article is to help guide a person as to what type of group may be a good starting place.

Task Groups

  • Generally used in businesses to address difficulties in completing work and difficulties in motivation, harassment, communication and cultural barriers.
  • Can consist of task forces, committees, planning groups, community organizations, discussion groups, and study circles.
  • Can be led by a professionally trained leader or by already existing employees.


Psycho-educational Groups

  • Main goal in these groups is to educate well-functioning group members who want more information or to build onto skills in an area of living.
  • Generally found in schools and community centers.
  • Facilitated by a trained professional.
  • A certain level of self-disclosure is needed, but not as much as in a counseling/psychotherapy group.
  • Some of these groups may surround topics like communication skills, parenting, conflict resolution, and anger management.


Counseling Groups

  • The goal with these groups are for preventative and educational purposes.
  • These groups are interactive and use present day/in-the-moment framework.
  • Facilitated by a trained professional.
  • Membership can be open or closed, depending on the subject matter of the group. An open membership would allow anyone to join during any available open seat. A closed membership would have a maximum seat availability and have the same re-occurring members each session.
  • You are focusing on interpersonal growth in these groups, so self-disclosure will be intentional.


Psychotherapy Groups

  • These groups focus on remediation of in-depth psychological problems such as a diagnosed disorder (i.e. anxiety, depression, bipolar I or II etc...).
  • Will focus on past influences of present difficulties, conscious and unconscious motivation.
  • Facilitated by trained professional that is familiar with the treatment of mental disorders.
  • Membership is closed and will last for a longer duration than the other groups (some may last years).


Self-Help Groups

  • The main purpose is to strengthen existing strengths of group members with education and affirmation.
  • Facilitated by a member of the community or possible not lead by a specific person (group led).
  • Usually open membership, although there may be instances where the group has closed membership.
  • Self-disclosure is usually limited in these groups.
  • Basis tends to be a particular theory or philosophy geared towards the issues at hand (i.e. addiction recovery).
  • Examples: Men's/Women's group, divorce, alcoholics/over eaters/drug addiction anonymous, and grieving groups.


Groups will bring a sense of togetherness and connectedness that can be extremely empowering to it's members. While group therapy is a great tool, it is enhanced by individual therapy. Groups and individual therapy can meet you where you are in your journey towards better mental, emotional and physical health. I hope that this article helps you begin your search towards finding a group that is right for you.

The video below is a clip from "Confessions of a Shopaholic" starring Isla Fisher. It's a comical view of how she struggles with admitting to her addiction but gives a serious insight the force and destruction of our addictions and the power of interpersonal connections.

Credit goes to: Corey, M., Corey, G., & Corey, C. (2014) "Groups: Process and Practice, 9th Edition.

Confessions of a Shopaholic Clip

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    • greenmind profile image

      GreenMind Guides 

      2 years ago from USA

      This is a thoughtful and well-presented hub. Nice work!


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