A client can access up to 10 group therapy sessions per calendar year. If the referring practitioner does not specify the number of sessions on the referral, the allied health professional can use their clinical judgement to provide services under the referral up to the maximum number of sessions allowed in a calendar year (currently 10 sessions).
Group therapy offers a number of advantages over individual therapy, including social support, cost-effectiveness, multiple perspectives, improved communication skills, increased self-awareness, normalization, and personal growth. For example, MBCT has been demonstrated to be an effective treatment approach for individuals experiencing depression and anxiety. The program integrates cognitive therapy techniques with mindfulness practices and has been found to decrease feelings of loneliness, enhance social support and connection, and decrease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress.
Group therapy can also be an accessible and cost-effective option, particularly in situations where waitlists for individual therapy may be long. Under the Medicare Better Access program in Australia, funding is available for a limited number of group therapy sessions in addition to individual psychotherapy sessions.
Group therapy can offer a number of advantages over individual therapy. Some of the benefits of group therapy include:
Social support: Being part of a group can provide a sense of belonging and support, which can be especially helpful for people who feel isolated or who are struggling with a mental health issue.
Cost: Group therapy is often less expensive than individual therapy.
Multiple perspectives: Group members can offer different perspectives on a problem, which can be helpful in generating new ideas and solutions.
Improved communication skills: Group therapy can help your patients improve their communication skills and learn how to effectively express their thoughts and feelings.
Increased self-awareness: Group therapy can help individuals gain insight into their own behaviour and learn how to make positive changes in their lives.
Normalisation: Group members may find it helpful to see that others are struggling with similar issues, which can help reduce feelings of shame or isolation.
Personal growth: Group therapy can facilitate personal growth and self-exploration, as individuals learn more about themselves and how to effectively manage their emotions and behaviours.