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Group Therapy Could Be Your Path to Healing from PTSD

A woman sitting on a couch, looking distressed with her hands on her head.

According to the National Center for PTSD, about 7-8% of the U.S. population will experience PTSD at some point in their lives, and approximately 8 million adults have PTSD during a given year.

Whether you’re here to learn more about PTSD, support a family member, or find ways to get involved, this article has you covered. We’ll explore the causes, symptoms, and treatments for PTSD, with a special focus on the healing power of group therapy.

What is PTSD?

PTSD stands for post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s a mental health condition that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. These events could range from natural disasters and serious accidents to personal assaults and combat situations.

PTSD doesn’t just affect veterans or service members, though they are often the most associated with it. In reality, anyone who has been through a traumatic event can develop PTSD. This includes survivors of physical or sexual assault, people who have experienced accidents or natural disasters, and even those who have gone through traumatic medical events.

People with PTSD often experience a range of symptoms that can be incredibly disruptive to their daily lives. Common symptoms include flashbacks to the traumatic event, nightmares, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts about what happened. It’s like the brain gets stuck in a loop, replaying the trauma over and over again.

Could you or a loved one benefit from PTSD treatment?

Symptoms of PTSD

Recognizing the symptoms of PTSD is crucial in understanding how it affects those who live with it. PTSD symptoms can vary greatly from person to person, but they generally are experienced as:

  • Flashbacks: Feeling as though you are reliving the traumatic event.
  • Nightmares: Frequent, distressing dreams about the trauma.
  • Severe Distress: Intense emotional distress or physical reactions to reminders of the event.

Symptoms usually fall into three main categories:


  • Avoiding Reminders: Steering clear of places, activities, or people that bring back memories of the trauma.
  • Emotional Avoidance: Avoiding thoughts or feelings related to the traumatic event.

Negative Changes in Thinking and Mood

  • Negative Thoughts: Persistent negative thoughts about oneself, others, or the world.
  • Hopelessness: A pervasive sense of hopelessness about the future.
  • Emotional Numbness: Feeling detached from emotions or loved ones.
  • Loss of Interest: Disinterest in activities that were once enjoyable.

Changes in Physical and Emotional Reactions

  • Hypervigilance: Being easily startled or always on guard for danger.
  • Self-Destructive Behavior: Engaging in risky behaviors, such as excessive drinking.
  • Sleep and Concentration Issues: Difficulty sleeping or concentrating.

Understanding these symptoms helps in recognizing when someone might need help. PTSD can be an invisible mental illness, but by being aware of these signs, we can offer better support to those who are suffering.

Are you experiencing any of these symptoms? We can help.

The Power of Group Therapy

A group of people engaged in group therapy, sitting in a circle and engaging in conversation.

Group therapy is a versatile and powerful treatment option for PTSD and a broad range of other mental health conditions. In a group therapy setting, individuals come together to share their experiences and offer mutual support, creating a community that fosters understanding and healing. This approach is therapeutic across various disorders because it helps participants realize they are not alone in their struggles, which can be deeply comforting and restorative.

Group therapy also offers practical benefits. It provides a space to learn coping strategies from peers and gives participants a platform to practice social skills in a safe environment. For many, the camaraderie and mutual support found in group therapy are crucial components of their recovery journey.

The Benefits of Group Therapy

Shared Experience: Realizing you’re not alone in your struggles can bring immense relief and validation. This camaraderie often leads to a deeper understanding and broader perspective on how to manage PTSD symptoms effectively.

Skill Development: Group therapy sessions are practical environments for learning and practicing new coping strategies that have proven effective for others within the group. These skills can range from stress-reduction techniques and mindfulness to more specific strategies tailored to managing triggers and flashbacks. The opportunity to practice these techniques within the group can build confidence in their effectiveness.

Emotional Support: The encouragement and understanding of peers who have experienced similar trauma can be incredibly empowering. This emotional support is a cornerstone of group therapy, providing a strength-based framework that helps individuals feel less alone and more supported as they navigate their recovery.

Improved Self-awareness: Reflecting on your own experiences and emotions in the context of group discussions can enhance personal insight and healing.

Improved  Social Skills: PTSD can lead to withdrawal from social situations, making the group therapy environment a vital space for individuals to engage socially in a structured and supportive setting. This can help improve interpersonal skills and ease the discomfort some may feel in social settings.

Are You a Candidate for PTSD Group Therapy?

Connections Wellness Group offers intensive group therapy in focused outpatient programs. Intensive group therapy at Connections Wellness Group can be a good fit for many people seeking mental health treatment, particularly for those who need more structure and support than traditional outpatient therapy but don’t require the 24/7 supervision of a residential program. If you’re experiencing any of the following, our group therapy could be beneficial:

  • Difficulty identifying and expressing emotions
  • A decline in performance at work or school
  • Notable changes in appetite or sleep patterns
  • Challenges in maintaining interpersonal relationships
  • Experiencing trauma
  • Dealing with grief
  • Deteriorating physical health
  • Struggling with substance abuse
  • A loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Feel hopeless, overwhelmed, or have suicidal thoughts. If you need to talk to someone immediately, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988.

Taking charge of your mental health and well-being is a courageous step, and the compassionate team at Connections Wellness Group is here to support you every step of the way. Group therapy can be a life-changing experience, helping you embrace your true self and find strength in community. Remember, you are worthy, you are resilient, and you are not alone.

Connections Wellness Group provides intense outpatient mental health programs designed to get you feeling better, faster. Request a free assessment.