Group counselling

SnailsGroup counselling is a form of therapy where people with similar experiences/issues come together with a professional therapist.

The therapist runs the session, but generally everyone contributes in some way, listening to others and talking themselves. It’s usually focused on a particular issue, like:

  • addiction
  • bereavement
  • eating disorders
  • depression.

One of the main principals behind group counselling is that meeting other people who are dealing with something similar and hearing their story lets people know that they’re not alone. Things like depression or bereavement can be really isolating and make you feel like you’re facing the world alone. Group counselling can be a good way of getting over those feelings of isolation, and realising there are other people in the same boat.

It can also be easier to talk to people who share the same issue. They can understand how you feel a bit more than family members or friends who haven’t had firsthand experience of the problem you’re dealing with.

How it works

There are lots of different types of group therapy. Some groups are more structured, and are based around doing an activity or project together, team-building and even physical games. Some are more freeform, more like meetings where people have conversations about how they’re doing and listen to others.

Some have a set number of sessions, and others are drop-in groups that you can attend if and when you need to.

Is it for you?

Group therapy is something your counsellor might suggest to you, depending on what you’re dealing with. It’s not for everyone, and the idea that might make you nervous, but it can be worth giving it a go and seeing if you find it helpful.

For information on group counselling services, talk to your GP or counsellor, check the Golden Pages or look in the Counselling Directory. It might be best to ring a counselling service and see if they offer group sessions. For more on individual therapy, read counselling.


Helpful sites

Comments Show all comments

  1. says:

    Hi Hami,

    Thanks for getting in touch with us.

    We're based in Ireland, so we're not too familiar with support services in Kashmir. Generally the best thing to do is to talk to someone you trust, like a friend or family member, about how you are feeling. It's good to be able to talk things through and share how we feel with people we trust. It can be a start to making us feel better and finding ways of coping with how we are feeling.

    If possible, we would encourage you to talk to your local doctor. Doctors deal with all sorts of health problems, including mental health problems. Your doctor should be able to give you information about ways of coping and working through OCD. Your doctor should also be able to let you know if there are any counselling services available to you.

    We also have information about dealing with OCD on You can check it out here. Things like writing down how you are feeling in a journal and exercising can help.

    With some support from our family, friends and our doctor it is possible to overcome mental health problems so we would encourage you to talk and share how you are feeling with them.

    We hope this information helps Hami

    Take care,

  2. Hami sheikh says:

    I m hami frm kashmir... I hve lot of mantal disodr's lyk OCD. I wana lve ds prblm frm my lyf. Plz tel me hw i cn do it

  3. reachout says:

    Hi Naomi,

    Sounds like there's a lot going in for you and group therapy could be a really good, safe space to open up and discuss what you've been through and how you're feeling.
    Aware run support groups or Grow Also might be able to give you information about counsellors who facilitate group therapy.

    If you do decide to talk to an individual counsellor, they might be able to recommend some local support groups for you.

    The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre host a freephone number on 1800 77 88 88 for support that you can call at any time to talk to someone about sexual abuse in your past. The centre itself hosts group counselling, for more information see

    Its a really positive step that you are seeking help and whether you decide to talk to someone individually, join a support group or do both, we hope you get the support you deserve to help you cope with what you're going through.

  4. Naomi Enright says:

    Hi, I was diagnosed with 'dissociative identity disorder' over 5yrs ago, and have struggled to cope the the illness. I am also a survivor of sexual abuse and have experience psyhosis. I am looking for group therapy.

    Thanking you

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