Have you learnt how to become a school counselor? One thing you will learn is the different ways counselling sessions can be administered. One of them is the group counselling and this is very common with school counselling sessions. Group counselling in schools can involve a group of students, students and teachers, students and parents, parents and teachers or all of the them at the same time and venue. Although group counselling can be very effective, there are situations where it might not work. Let us look at some of the pros and cons of group counselling:
- Saves times: The method allows the counselor to interact with all the members at the same time. So the counselor will be able to see more people within a short time.
- Frequency: this may be advantageous to the clinet and not the counsellor. With individuals therapies, the meetings with the counselor may be limited to once a week while group therapy meetings can be organized more often.
- Support: there is safety in numbers so to speak. With group therapy, participants feel comfortable and better than when they have to face the counselor alone in one some quiet office. In a group therapy, you get to learn that others are suffering from the same problem you are suffering from. Thus, the clients won’t feel as if they are being judged in a group as they would in a private sessions.
- Wisdom of the group: more heads are better than one. You might get some bright suggestions from fellow members. There is a wealth of knowledge being shared in group therapy.
- Enjoyable sessions: this may come down to individual basis. As for many people, private sessions may degenerate into confrontations. This is unlikely to happen in group counselling sessions because there is likely to be a lot of jest in such and people will look at a solution in more than one angle. Since clients are the ones with the problems, they are likely to make a fun of such problems without feeling offended.
- Some have social anxiety: group therapy may not be for everyone. Many people, unfortunately are not comfortable with group counseling and are not willing to let free of their comfort zones (resist change).
- May not open up as much: whether you are talking to children or adults, there are many people who will juts not be able to open up no matter how friendly the environment is. The thing with these people is that they would rather hear what people have to say about their own problems rather than let others hear their stories. this might ruin the chances of success of the group therapy.
- Facilitates drug connections: If you are offering something like substance abuse counseling, the session might end up offering better ideas to the clients on where to get drugs at lower costs when participants are sharing stories and experiences. This is a big problem and can lead to people sharing their dark secrets.
- Lack of confidentiality: some people would like to keep secrets. The group therapy session is definitely the last place where you are going to talk about a top secret.