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  • Writer's pictureLaura

The Power of Unity: How Group Support Can Ease Anxiety


As another school summer break draws to a close, I once again am getting back to routine, one way including the start up of my various groups. Anxiety can be a lonely and isolating experience and I see every day, within my online groups, private Facebook community and in-person therapy groups, the benefit of what bringing a community together can bring.


The constant swirl of worries and the physical symptoms that accompany anxiety disorders can make individuals feel like they are fighting a battle all alone. However, an effective antidote to this isolation is being part of a group of people who are experiencing similar challenges.


So how can of being part of a group make such a profound difference in the lives of those with anxiety?


1. Understanding Anxiety: A Shared Struggle

Anxiety disorders come in various forms, such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), and Panic Disorder, to name a few. One common thread among individuals with these disorders is the feeling of isolation. Being part of a group provides a safe space where individuals can openly discuss their experiences, fears, and challenges. The understanding and empathy from fellow group members can be incredibly comforting.


2. Normalizing Experiences

One of the most powerful aspects of group therapy for anxiety is that it normalizes the experiences of participants. Often, individuals with anxiety feel that their worries and fears are irrational or unusual. In a group setting, they realize that others share similar thoughts and feelings. This normalization reduces the stigma associated with anxiety and fosters a sense of belonging.


3. Shared Coping Strategies

In group therapy sessions, participants can share coping strategies and techniques that have worked for them. This exchange of ideas can be invaluable. What works for one person may also benefit others, and individuals can learn from each other's successes and setbacks.


4. Social Skills Development

Social anxiety is a common challenge for those with anxiety disorders. Groups provides a controlled and supportive environment to practice social skills. Over time, participants often become more comfortable in social situations outside of the group.


5. Building a Support Network

Being part of a group creates a support network that extends beyond the therapy sessions. In many of my groups, individuals have formed bonds and friendships with their fellow group members, providing a source of encouragement and understanding outside of the therapeutic setting.


6. Accountability and Progress Tracking

In a group, there's an inherent level of accountability. Participants are more likely to work on their anxiety management strategies when they know they will share their progress with the group. This accountability can lead to greater commitment and progress in managing anxiety.


Being part of a group for people experiencing anxiety can be a transformative experience. It offers understanding, normalization, shared coping strategies, and a support network. If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety, consider exploring group therapy as a valuable and effective option for support and healing. Remember, you don't have to face anxiety alone—there is strength in unity!


There are many sources of in-person and online support groups so reach out and find the best fit for you. If you would like to join my free Facebook Community feel free to find us here: www.facebook.com/groups/strangerthananxiety


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