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Group Therapy Schooling

The choice to go into group therapy is a difficult one. The occupation is not an easy one and many people are not suited to pursue it. That being said, those that do pursue group therapy as a career are rewarded every day with the overwhelming positive effects that it can have on so many people’s lives. The group therapist is the engineer of solutions for so many people with psychological issues, and they are able to help these people several at a time rather than the one at a time version that normal psychology takes.

One major thing to consider when looking into group therapist schools is what variety of specialization you would pursue when it comes to your group therapist career path. Group therapists tend to specialize in a particular area and create groups around that one particular issue. Many common issues that achieve great results in group therapy are eating disorders, addictions, child behavioral issues, and normal social anxiety issues. As a result, many group therapists get their degrees with a particular slant to them so that they can generate groups surrounding that particular psychotherapy skill set.

The American Group Psychotherapy Association merely requires an advanced degree in psychotherapy or psychiatry require you to have 12 hours of theory and practice relating to group therapy in your advanced degree. Those hours should at least touch upon all of the following topics: foundations of group psychotherapy, the group leader, group dynamics and group process, and the change process in groups.

They also require 300 hours of group leader experience as a group leader or co-leader including 75 hours of logged supervised experience. This supervisor must also apply for verification that he is qualified to be considered a supervisor for these purposes. That, along with two references, will allow you to apply for your group therapy certification with the group.

The difficulty is rarely in finding a group therapy program. The hard part comes in finding the right program for you. The group therapist can come from a number of different backgrounds, social work, psychotherapy, or psychiatry. All of these provide a unique perspective and philosophical differences when it comes to the proper practice of group therapy. Asking yourself how you would like to practice group therapy is the first question when looking at schools. The school that may seem nice in appearance or be the right cost may not have all of the resources you would need to get the kind of degree and experience that will set you on a path towards the kind of group therapy you would like to practice. As a result, it is always good to do plenty of research before committing to a school

Do Your Homework

As group therapy tends to be more of a style of other types of psychotherapy rather than a type all to itself, it is difficult to pin down exactly what makes a great group therapy education. The personal comfort of the individual to work in groups is essential to their success though. The group can be an unwieldy form of therapy in the wrong hands and the uncertain should not try to go such a difficult route. That being said, it can be very exhilarating to work in a group towards helping all of the people in the group to help each other.