As an avid group therapist in Los Angeles, I often get asked by colleagues why they should refer a client to a process group.
There are a variety of well-known reasons of why group therapy benefits the client, but we often don't talk about what an individual therapist may gain from the referral to group therapy.
In general, we can place in our minds our clients into three general catagories:
1) STUCK: perhaps these clients are not engaged in therapy, or perhaps you're not entirely sure what's going on with them.
2) PLATEAU: there's been little therapeutic progress with these clients for a while, maybe you feel a little stuck or are beginning to feel that you should terminate.
3) SUCCESS: these clients are thriving in therapy, reaching goals and with whom you feel that you're making progress.
Group therapy, can actually help with client who fit in all of these categories.
1) Client and thereapists can benefit with another clinical opinion added to the mix. The coordinated input from two collaborating therapists can be hugely beneficial to the client f the treatment is stuck or in a rut. The therapist may also benefit from another clinicians input, sometimes a different opinion is what's needed to get treatment back on track.
2) When therapists refer to each other, their professional network increases - it's a chance to feel part of a community and perhaps to gain more referalls to your practice.
3) Group therapy adds an additional component to treatment and opens up more material and different relationship dynamics which are often explored in individual therapy. Individual sessions can become more stimulating and rich when different interepersonal experiences are processed away from the group.