Group treatment has been empirically supported as a means by which to successfully explore every day issues. Most people who attend group treatment significantly benefit from them. Attending a group is very similar to real life in that it can tell us a lot about how we relate to those around us.
Sooner or later, team members will start acting normally with each other, express themselves impulsively and honestly about their concerns. Difficulties that they might face in the outside world are easily seen and transferred in their communication with other group members. What is important in group treatment is the enhancement of communication between team members as well as the learning of new techniques in chronic pain management. Emphasis will be given on the exploration of member communication within the therapy but also on how members can apply what they have learned to their everyday lives.
The group is turned into a mini laboratory whereby the sense of safety and trust aids each member to identify and express difficulties and move towards change. This happens through feedback given by other group members but also through learning of new techniques and a new relationship with their pain. The target of group therapy is for each member to help the other learn and identify their strengths, weaknesses, potential cognitive distortions, fears about pain and how these influences their life. Experiencing group therapy gives the person a chance to:
- Identify and express behaviours that pose difficulties in their life
- Accept feedback and give feedback and support to others
- Improve their interpersonal affairs and their relationship with others
- Identify their thoughts, emotions and behaviours and how these might perpetuate given pain related situations.
- Attempt to change unhelpful behaviours that have become a habit as a result of fear
- Express honest emotions in a safe and non critical environment
- Improve self esteem and accept their new self image
- Create a new relationship with pain and transfer new techniques taught in the group to everyday life