Therapy groups are designed to promote the health and adjustment of their members. Initially used when the demand for services outstripped available health care providers, therapists discovered that group approaches offered unique benefits over more individualistic therapies. Some of these benefits include a reduced sense of isolation and uniqueness, mutual support, exposure to positive models, and the opportunity to develop coping skills by interacting with others. Therapists now use groups to address a variety of psychological and physical maladies, and their methods are as varied as those used in individual approaches. Even though the idea of having people suffering from problems gather together seemed radical at first, researchers have confirmed the value of group methods for helping people reach their therapeutic goals.

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Copyright © 2010 SAGE Publications, Inc. This article first appeared in Encyclopedia of Group Processes & Intergroup Relations.

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