Cohen Clinics across the nation host groups that span a variety of topics from mental health diagnosis like PTSD, anxiety, or depression to relationship challenges or parenting strategies. Some groups cover common military-related topics such as PCS season or coping with deployments. There are even groups that are tailored to children and teens. The chances are, if you’re struggling with something, there is a group that can support you and your family.
How can groups benefit me?
The primary impact of group therapy is hearing those powerful words: “me too.” In a world where people feel more disconnected than ever, a sense of community has a potent effect on those with mental health challenges. When we hear others’ stories and watch their progress, we learn that we are not alone in our struggles.
Have you ever had a problem keep you up all night, only to see the solution clearly the moment you talk with a trusted friend? Seeing something from a slightly different angle can launch us toward a solution. In groups, we learn from others and pay it forward by sharing our own experiences. Mutual peer support is key – sometimes a message can land differently coming from someone who has been through it themselves.
How do I know if a group is right for me?
Groups are an excellent way to learn and test skills that can be broadly applied to a wide population. Groups are structured to walk through a logical and effective therapeutic process that is helpful to almost everyone who experiences a similar challenge. Because of this unique support system, groups often generate long-lasting and meaningful change.
Veterans and military family members can experience a unique benefit in the group setting. Especially while processing community reintegration, groups reiterate that sense of “it’s not just me going through this.” Experiences that might be related to military service can be validated. Of course, it’s important to address the stigma of seeking mental health services, concerns about being seen as weak, or the belief that people should be able to heal on their own. Having other veterans and their families express similar experiences can be particularly powerful. That is something that Cohen Clinics can offer uniquely.
Contact your local Cohen Clinic to learn about the group opportunities available to you.
By Ashley Jensen, LMFT
CVN Senior Manager, Clinical Practice