Remember These 3 Things When a Group Therapy Peer Seems Ahead of You

Posted on: 26 June 2019


One of the important lessons to remember when you're in a group therapy environment is that it isn't a race. Each of you is trying to resolve whatever issue has brought you into this space, but your goal shouldn't be to rectify the issue before the other participants. Unfortunately, it's easy to be highly competitive, and when you see that one of your peers appears to be making more progress—you could handle this the wrong way. Here are some things to remember in this situation.

The Person May Have More Therapy Experience

You can't possibly know the extent to which the other person has been in therapy, so it's not in your best interest to compare yourself and your progress to this person. For example, perhaps you're taking therapy for the first time, and this person has been in therapy on and off for a decade. It's certainly reasonable to expect that he or she will "get" things faster than you, and that's not a condemnation of you and your aptitude—it's simply a sign that this person has been in a therapy environment more often.

You Had a Different Childhood

Childhood issues can often persist into adulthood, which is part of the reason that many people choose to get therapy. What you went through as a child can linger extensively, and if a fellow group therapy participant appears to be making progress quicker than you, it's good to remind yourself that this person had a different childhood than you. Perhaps you grew up with an absent father and an alcoholic mother, and the other person had a stable family unit. If you're slower to resolve your issue, it simply means that you're working through more before you get there.

Criticizing Yourself Won't Speed Things Up

Listen to what your inner voice is saying in this situation. It might be telling you that you're not as smart, or that you're not as willing to make a positive change. If so, try to remember that criticizing yourself won't help you to resolve any issues that you're facing any faster. Self-love is often a big part of the therapy process, and many therapists will emphasize that being gentle on yourself is one of the first steps that you need to take in order to move forward.

To learn more about making progress with group therapy, contact local counselors.