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  • Writer's pictureSpring Berriman

What to Expect from Group Therapy

group therapy online

Group therapy offers a unique and powerful platform for healing and growth. In this article, we delve into the key aspects of this approach, providing insights into the structure, benefits, and dynamics of group sessions. This resource is designed to help people who are seeking group therapy, who live in Ontario (including cities like Toronto and Ottawa) and are looking to understand how group therapy works and what benefits it can offer.

  • What is group therapy?

  • What is the group therapy process? 

  • Why do people seek group therapy?

  • What counselling methods are used in group therapy?

  • What is the biggest predictor of success in group therapy?

  • What are the long-term benefits of group therapy?

Is group therapy possible using online technology, or do we have to meet the therapist in person?

  • What does group  therapy cost?

  • What is the length and frequency of  group therapy sessions?

  • How can I prepare for group therapy?

  • What outcomes can I expect from group therapy?

  • What unexpected outcomes may come from group therapy?

  • What qualifications do group therapists have?

  • Where can I find a group therapist?

  • Do you offer online group therapy?

  • Do you offer group therapy in Toronto?

  • Can I ask a question about group therapy?

  • Can I book a free session?

What is group therapy?

Group therapy is a form of psychotherapy that involves one or more therapists working with several individuals simultaneously. It aims to provide a supportive environment where participants can share experiences and challenges under the guidance of a trained professional. 

Ground therapy is structured to facilitate open communication, empathy, and personal growth, covering various topics such as mental health issues, coping strategies, and interpersonal relationships. It allows members to receive feedback and insights from peers who may have faced similar issues, fostering a sense of community and understanding. The collective experience can offer unique perspectives and support, making it an effective therapeutic option for many individuals.

What is the group therapy process?

The typical group therapy process begins with the formation of a group selected by therapists to ensure compatibility and address specific issues or themes. The group size varies, but once established, the members will meet regularly for a set period.

Initial sessions focus on establishing trust and setting group norms, including confidentiality, respect, and active participation. The therapist then guides the group through discussions, exercises, and activities designed to foster self-awareness, interpersonal learning, and emotional growth. 

Members are encouraged to share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences openly, providing and receiving feedback within a supportive and structured environment. This allows participants to benefit from mutual support, gain insights into their behaviour, and learn new coping strategies. 

Over time, members work towards achieving personal and group goals, with the therapist facilitating progress and addressing any challenges. The process often concludes with a review of achievements and a discussion on how to integrate learned behaviours and coping mechanisms into daily life.

Find a group therapy session with our therapist collective

At our therapist collective, we offer group therapy through the "Connect and Discover" program, facilitated by Spring Berriman RP and Korie Borg MSW RSW. This is an 8-week virtual session designed to promote emotional well-being, personal growth, and resilience within an online community. (Click here to apply for group therapy sessions). 

Once the group has been established, the members will meet online once a week. The process begins with an orientation to introduce the structure, goals, and guidelines for the upcoming weeks. It also includes group activities to help establish a safe and trusting virtual environment for members to share their thoughts, goals and feelings freely. 

The following sessions provide insight into emotional regulation, cognitive insight (through cognitive behavioural therapy), mindfulness, coping strategies, connection, chakras, etc. Group therapy concludes with members reflecting on their progress and a plan for continued growth. 

If you are interested in being part of group counselling through our therapist collective, please click here to apply. For more details, you can visit our Group Therapy webpage.  

If you have any questions about group therapy, you can call us at 647-296-9235 or send an email to

Why do people seek group therapy?

People seek group therapy for diverse reasons, often stemming from the desire for shared experiences, peer support, and a sense of community. It fosters solidarity and shared understanding, with many clients finding comfort in the experiences of others who face similar challenges. 

Group therapy can also be helpful in certain life stages, offering age-appropriate coping strategies, perspectives, and relational dynamics. From adolescents grappling with peer relationships to older adults facing life transitions, these sessions can provide a platform for shared insights and mutual support. 

For some, group therapy also serves as a more affordable and socially interactive alternative to individual therapy. Individuals may opt for group therapy during significant life transitions, seeking peer support, or when they wish to improve their social skills and emotional intelligence through interaction with others facing similar issues. Group settings can also be effective for problems like anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and trauma, offering a community for mutual understanding and growth.

What counselling methods are used in group therapy?

Group therapy incorporates diverse counselling methods and techniques. These methods cater to specific therapeutic goals and client needs, enabling effective group experiences across various life stages and challenges. 

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Targets thought and behaviour patterns; effective across all age groups for addressing anxiety, depression, and more.

  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): Focuses on emotional regulation and interpersonal effectiveness; beneficial for adolescents and adults.

  • Psychodynamic Approaches: Involves exploring underlying emotional conflicts and childhood experiences; often recommended for adults and older adolescents.

  • Expressive Arts Therapy: Utilizes art, music, and drama, engaging children and teens to express emotions and experiences creatively.

  • Role-playing: Allows participants to enact real-life situations or experiences, providing a safe space to explore emotions, behaviours, and strategies for coping. This technique is particularly beneficial for teenagers and adults, as it helps them practice interpersonal skills, gain insights into their own and others' perspectives, and develop empathy.

  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR): Teaches present-moment awareness and relaxation; applicable to all ages, enhancing coping strategies.

  • Somatic Experiencing: Helps participants become aware of their body's sensations to reduce distress and help process and release trauma. It is particularly beneficial for adults and teenagers who have more capacity to engage in introspective processes related to trauma and stress. 

  • Exploring Chakras and Sacred Sounds: This can enhance emotional and spiritual healing by using vibrational energy to align and balance the body's energy centers. Adults and teenagers are likely to benefit most from this technique, as they can more deeply engage with and reflect on the spiritual and emotional aspects of these practices.

  • Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT): Concentrates on finding solutions in the present time; suitable for teens and adults seeking pragmatic outcomes.

  • Skills Development Therapy: Focuses on teaching and practicing specific coping strategies, communication skills, or social skills. Best suited for children and adolescents, helping them build essential life skills in a supportive, interactive environment that encourages learning through observation and peer feedback.

  • Humanistic Approaches: Encourage self-exploration and personal growth, suitable for teenagers and adults.

  • Movement Therapy: Uses physical activity to help participants express emotions and improve body awareness, facilitating emotional release and healing. It is suitable for all ages, particularly children and adolescents. 

Clients will also often participate in activities to cultivate mutual understanding, empathy, and a supportive group dynamic. Examples include: 

  • Icebreakers: Initiates the sharing of personal stories to build initial connections and help participants get to know one another (e.g., two truths and a lie). 

  • Trust-building Exercises: Activities aimed at building trust among members (e.g., trust falls). 

  • Group Discussions: Facilitates open conversations about shared experiences.

  • Affirmations: Involves sharing positive affirmations to boost self-esteem and group morale.

  • Cooperative games: Teamwork-oriented tasks to build rapport between group members (e.g., scavenger hunt). 

  • Group Projects: Collaborative tasks that promote teamwork and mutual support (e.g., human knot). 

What is the biggest predictor of success in group therapy?

The biggest predictor of success in group therapy is group cohesion and dynamics. It is essential for there to be a sense of belonging, and mutual support and respect among group members. This allows participants to feel safe, understood, and valued, encouraging open communication and meaningful participation. 

Group compatibility, each member's engagement and commitment to the therapeutic process, and the relevance of the group's focus to its member's needs are also crucial factors. Ensuring that members are committed to the process and aligned with their goals enhances the likelihood of successful outcomes.

Another key factor for the success of group therapy is the relationship (also called the therapeutic alliance) between the therapist(s) and group members. A good bond between client and therapist enables effective communication and encourages a positive, productive, and receptive environment. The therapist's ability to facilitate meaningful discussions, manage group dynamics, and foster inclusivity also impacts the success of group counselling. 

These elements combined create a productive setting where individuals can work effectively towards their personal and collective goals.

What are the long-term benefits of group therapy?

Group therapy can be a valuable therapeutic approach for many, contributing to lasting improvements in mental health and well-being. Below are examples of long-term benefits of group therapy:

  • Enhanced Interpersonal Skills: Facilitates better communication and understanding in personal and professional relationships.

  • Greater Self-awareness: Provides insight into personal behaviours and emotions, promoting a deeper understanding of personal triggers, thought patterns, patterns, etc.

  • Development of Effective Coping Mechanisms: Participants learn and share strategies for dealing with stress, anxiety, and depression.

  • Stronger Support Systems: Helps build a network of peers who offer understanding and support.

  • Behavioural Change: Exposure to different perspectives helps to recognize and change unhealthy patterns. Encouragement and feedback from members of the group also encourage positive changes. 

  • Emotional Support and Healing: Offers a support network, reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness. It also facilitates processing and healing of emotional pain.

  • Personal Growth: Encourages introspection, leading to continuous development and self-improvement.

  • Increased Confidence and Empowerment: Builds self-esteem through shared experiences and accomplishments, which can help people handle and overcome life's challenges. 

  • Resilience Building: Helps strengthen resilience, enabling individuals to bounce back from adversity more easily. 

  • Reduced Isolation: Connecting regularly with others facing similar challenges can decrease feelings of loneliness and isolation.

  • Sustained Change: Encourages long-term personal development and emotional health.

These benefits highlight group therapy's role in promoting long-term healing, personal development, and the ability to navigate life's challenges more effectively.

Are group therapy sessions possible using online technology, or do we have to meet the therapist in person?

Group therapy sessions are possible using online technology (e.g., Zoom, Google Meet, etc.), allowing participants to join from their homes. Virtual therapy has become a popular and accessible option for many, offering convenience and flexibility. 

Our therapist collective offers an eight-week virtual group therapy program led by two experienced therapists from our team. Weekly meetings are held through Zoom, a video conferencing platform available on cell phones, tablets, and Windows and Mac computers. Learn more on our Group Therapy webpage. 

What does group therapy cost?

The cost of group therapy in Ontario, Canada, can vary widely depending on the provider, the type of therapy offered, location, the therapist's experience, etc. Some provincial healthcare plans or employee assistance programs may cover or subsidize these costs.

Our company charges a fee of $389.85 CAD ($345+HST) to participate in the virtual group therapy program led by Spring Berriman RP and Korie Borg MSW RSW. Sessions occur weekly (via Zoom) and are two hours long (working out to under $50 per meeting). Click here to learn more about our group therapy sessions.

What is the length and frequency of group therapy sessions?

The length of group therapy sessions typically ranges from 60 to 90 minutes, with the frequency varying from weekly to bi-weekly, depending on the program and therapeutic goals.

Group counselling sessions at our therapist collective occur once a week (for eight weeks total) and are about two hours long. Meetings are held through Zoom. Learn more

How can I prepare for group therapy?

Preparing for group therapy can help you make the most out of your therapeutic experience. Below are tips and advice to help you prepare.  

  • Educate Yourself: Before your first session, try to understand what group therapy entails, including learning about its structure, goals, and standard practices. This can help demystify the process and reduce any anxiety you might feel.

  • Set Personal Goals: Consider what you want to achieve from group therapy. Setting specific (e.g. improving communication) or broad (e.g., finding emotional support) personal goals can give you a sense of direction and purpose.

  • Practice Openness: Group therapy often involves sharing personal experiences and feelings. While feeling hesitant about opening up is natural, practicing openness can enhance your therapeutic journey. 

  • Familiarize Yourself With Group Norms: Every therapy group has its own set of norms and rules, such as confidentiality, speaking one at a time, and showing respect for all members. Understanding these norms ahead of time can help you integrate more smoothly into the group.

  • Prepare Mentally and Emotionally: Reflect on your readiness to share and listen to others' experiences. Mental and emotional preparation can help you manage any initial discomfort and foster a positive attitude towards the group process.

  • Identify Boundaries: Knowing your personal boundaries before joining a group is important. Recognize the limits of what you are comfortable sharing and respect your own pace in opening up.

  • Develop Coping Strategies: Group therapy can sometimes bring up intense emotions. Developing coping strategies, such as deep breathing, mindfulness, or journaling, can help you manage these feelings.

  • Seek Individual Therapy: If you have specific issues you feel might not be fully addressed in a group setting, consider individual therapy sessions in conjunction with group therapy. This dual approach can provide a more comprehensive therapeutic experience.

  • Engage in Self-Care: Taking care of your physical and emotional well-being is crucial. Ensure you're engaging in self-care activities outside of therapy to support your mental health journey.

  • Have Realistic Expectations: Understand that progress in group therapy can take time and that each member's journey is unique. Patience and realistic expectations can help you stay motivated and committed.

Preparing in these ways can help create a foundation for a productive and healing group therapy experience.

What outcomes can I expect from group therapy?

Participating in group therapy can lead to a spectrum of outcomes spanning from immediate, short-term benefits to profound, long-term changes:

Short-term Outcomes:

  • Immediate Emotional Relief: Sharing struggles within a supportive group environment often provides a sense of belonging, validation, and comfort as members realize others face similar challenges. 

  • Increased Self-awareness: Group interactions and member feedback allow participants to gain insights into their behaviours and emotional responses, leading to heightened self-awareness.

  • Improved Communication Skills: Group discussions can teach people how to express their thoughts and feelings more clearly and effectively, enhancing their ability to communicate effectively.

  • Enhanced Coping Strategies: Group therapy introduces various coping mechanisms for dealing with stress, anxiety, and other emotional challenges, providing members with immediate tools for better mental health management.

  • Social Skills Development: Participating in a group setting fosters the development of interpersonal skills, such as active listening, empathy, and providing constructive feedback, which is beneficial in everyday social interactions.

Long-term Outcomes:

  • Deep Emotional Healing: Over time, the group therapy process can facilitate the healing of deeper psychological wounds and traumas, leading to significant emotional and mental health improvements.

  • Behavioural Changes: With continued participation, one can expect long-term behavioural changes. The group's feedback and support can help members implement and maintain healthier ways of interacting with the world.

  • Increased Resilience: Long-term engagement in group therapy builds resilience, empowering people to better handle future stresses and challenges with greater ease and confidence.

  • Sustained Mental Health Improvements: Continuous involvement in group sessions can lead to lasting enhancements in mental well-being, reducing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.

  • Strong Support Network: The relationships developed during group therapy often evolve into a durable support network, offering ongoing encouragement, understanding, and companionship beyond the therapy sessions.

  • Improved Relationship Dynamics: As participants learn about themselves and how to interact more effectively with others, they may notice long-term improvements in personal and professional relationships. This often includes deeper connections and healthier dynamics.

These outcomes illustrate the comprehensive benefits of group therapy, encompassing immediate relief and skill-building, as well as profound personal growth and improved mental health over time.

What unexpected outcomes may come from group therapy?

Group therapy often brings various anticipated benefits, such as improved mental health and enhanced interpersonal skills. However, participants may also experience several unexpected outcomes that contribute significantly to personal growth and well-being:

  • Discovering Hidden Strengths: The group's feedback can highlight personal strengths and talents participants were previously unaware of, leading to increased self-confidence and a more positive self-image.

  • Changing Career Paths: Through self-discovery and exploring personal values and interests, some participants become motivated to pursue new career paths or educational opportunities that align more closely with their authentic selves.

  • Formation of Lasting Friendships: The intense bonding resulting from shared experiences and mutual understanding between members often results in deep, lasting friendships outside the group setting, providing a valuable social network.

  • Enhanced Creativity: The introspective nature of group therapy can unlock new levels of creativity. Individuals may find themselves more inspired to engage in creative activities such as writing, art, or music as a form of expression and healing.

  • Unexpected Role as a Mentor: Participants who have made significant progress may find themselves in the unexpected role of mentor or supporter for newer members, offering guidance and fostering a sense of purpose and contribution.

  • Increased Empathy for Others: Engaging with diverse individuals and hearing their stories can significantly broaden one's perspective, fostering a deeper empathy and understanding of the challenges others face. 

  • A Shift in Personal Values and Beliefs: Group therapy's reflective and open nature encourages reevaluation of long-held beliefs and values. This can lead to significant shifts in what individuals prioritize, often steering them towards more fulfilling paths.

  • Improved Physical Health: As mental and emotional well-being improves, participants often report unexpected improvements in physical health. Reduced stress and anxiety can lead to better sleep, lower blood pressure, and enhanced physical well-being.

These outcomes further highlight the benefits of group therapy and how it can trigger unforeseen positive changes in various aspects of participants' lives. 

What qualifications do group therapists have?

Group therapists typically have a degree in psychology or a related field, with specialized training and experience in therapeutic activities, methods, and techniques commonly used in group therapy. 

In Ontario, psychotherapists must be registered with CRPO. (Learn more here: We always recommend checking CRPO to ensure your group therapist is registered and in good standing in Ontario. Please note: This means they are registered in Ontario to provide the controlled act of psychotherapy. It does not mean the group therapist is registered to strictly offer group therapy.

Experience facilitating group dynamics and managing diverse personalities and issues within a group setting is essential for a therapist administering group therapy. Expertise in the specific type of therapy being offered (e.g., cognitive-behavioural, interpersonal, psychodynamic) or dealing with patients facing similar challenges (e.g., addiction, anxiety, depression) is also essential. Additionally, strong communication, empathy, and conflict resolution skills are vital to navigating the complexities of group interactions and fostering a safe, supportive environment that promotes healing and growth among participants.

Where can I find a group therapist?

Our therapist collective provides virtual group therapy to Ontario residents. We serve all cities and communities with postal codes. If you are outside Ontario, try checking for listings at Psychology Today.

Our company offers an eight-week virtual group counselling program led by Spring Berriman RP and Korie Borg MSW RSW. Weekly meetings are held through Zoom. Learn more on our Group Therapy webpage.  

Do you offer online group therapy?

Yes, we offer online group therapy via Zoom, a virtual video meeting technology you can use to attend the session virtually. Learn more here.

Do you offer group therapy in Toronto?

Yes, our group therapy sessions are offered to people in Toronto and anybody with an Ontario address. Since these meetings are held virtually through Zoom, clients can attend from anywhere in Ontario, including major cities Toronto, Durham, Peterborough, and Hamilton. Click here to apply. For more details on our services, you can visit our Group Therapy webpage.  

Can I ask a question about group therapy?

Our team is here to answer any questions or concerns you have about group therapy. Please submit your inquiries to us via email at or by phone at 647-296-9235. Click here to learn more about our group therapy services. 

Can I book a free session?

Yes, we offer a free 30-minute consultation for group therapy services. To book an appointment, call us at 647-296-9235 or click here to find an available appointment

If you want to join our 8-week "Connect and Discover" virtual group therapy program, you can click here to apply. Learn more about our services on the Group Therapy webpage. 


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