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  • Honey Dahari, LMFT, MBA

Top 5 Fears About Group Therapy

Updated: Feb 12, 2023



Many people are hesitant to try group therapy because of a fear of being judged or misunderstood by others in the group. This fear can stem from a variety of sources, including past experiences, social anxiety, and fear of vulnerability.

  1. One of the main reasons that people may be afraid of group therapy is because of past experiences. People may have had negative experiences with group settings in the past, such as bullying, exclusion, or feeling like they didn't fit in. These experiences can make it difficult for people to trust others or to feel comfortable opening up in a group setting. They may worry that the same thing will happen in a therapy group and that they will be judged or misunderstood by others. Another reason why people may be afraid of group therapy is social anxiety. People with social anxiety may feel self-conscious and nervous in group settings, and may worry that they will be judged or evaluated by others. They may be afraid of being the center of attention or of being put on the spot. They may also be afraid of being judged by the group members, which can make it difficult for them to open up and participate in the group.

  2. People may be afraid of group therapy because of a fear of vulnerability. Group therapy requires individuals to share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences with others, which can be daunting and uncomfortable. Many people may feel exposed and vulnerable in a group setting, and may worry that others will judge them or take advantage of their vulnerability. They may also be afraid of being rejected or dismissed by the group members and may worry that they will be seen as weak or inadequate.

  3. One common fear is that group therapy will not be effective for them. They may worry that the group dynamics will not be conducive to their healing and that they will not be able to connect with other members. They may also fear that the group will be too diverse and that they will not be able to relate to other members and their issues.

  4. Another regularly reported fear is that group therapy will be too intense and that they will not be able to handle the emotions and experiences of other members. They may worry that the group will trigger their own emotional issues and that they will not be able to cope with the intensity of the group.

  5. An additional fear is about the commitment to regular group sessions. People may worry that the group will take up too much of their time and that they will not be able to balance their other responsibilities.

Group therapy can be a daunting and uncomfortable prospect for many people. It is important to recognize that these fears are normal and valid, and that group therapy can be a powerful tool for healing and growth. You can work through these fears with a therapist and to have a clear understanding of the group therapy process, in order to access the benefits of group therapy and to build the skills and resources needed to cope with group dynamics. Want to learn more about how group therapy can help your mental health? Schedule a 15 minute consultation to discuss your goals and see if groups can help you.

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