Dkrainwater’s Weblog

The Difference Between Support Groups and Group Psychotherapy

Posted on: November 3, 2008

So what is the difference between group psychotherapy and support groups? The therapeutic use of groups in modern practice was first started in the early years of the twentieth century. A Boston physician described that he formed classes for patients that had contracted tuberculosis. These patients were also rejected for sanitarium treatment. This could not be considered a support group because it was led by a doctor or therapist. In group psychotherapy, the doctor, therapist, or counselor, runs the group and directs them to a known or unknown goal. In support groups, the people come together on their own and are supported and guided by patients that suffer the same condition or disorder. Group psychotherapy is more concerned with the treatment of a personality disorder or mental condition, while support groups are more focused on a specific, shared disease or behavioral condition such as addiction or negative behavior.


The major difference between group psychotherapy and support groups are cost and the stigma of organized medicine. Group psychotherapy is run by a professional that is most of the time paid for their services. There is no real sharing that is going on, but methodology and science. The support group, on the other hand, is usually free and is monitored by people that have the same experiences and there is no monetary connection to it or to the medical community. Maybe that is why the psychotherapy is pushed by conventional medicine and support groups are not investigated as much as a viable non-conventional treatment procedure. Where there is no money, there is no research, unless the subject researched has the potential to become popular and take money out on the hands of the medical and pharmaceutical industries.

Don Rainwater has written many articles on alternative medicine, vitamins, supplements, and natural healing. To visit his site and to find vitamins, supplements, and health books that will help you find self cure through non-conventional medicine please visit


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