What Is Group Activity Therapy?

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  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 04 October 2019
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Group activity therapy typically involves counseling in a group setting, and often among family members. Participants in group activity therapy may perform various interactive exercises or participate in question-and-answer sessions. This type of therapy also involves physical activities in a group setting. The purpose of group therapy is to improve social skills, help with feelings of isolation, or to strengthen bonds between family members and loved ones. Group activity therapy may be designed for men, women, teenagers, or children.

Outdoor activities, such as nature walks or hiking, may be part of a group activity therapy session. Many experts believe that being surrounded by nature can improve a person's emotional well-being. Other names for this type of group activity therapy are ecotherapy or wilderness therapy. A similar form of therapy is something known as adventure therapy. Adventure therapy may involve camping in the wilderness and living off the land.

People suffering from depression may be helped by group activity therapy. These group sessions are often performed under the supervision of a trained counselor or psychotherapist. Children with symptoms of depression may be paired with others in their age group. Elderly people may be paired with groups of seniors who exhibit the same symptoms.


Various games are used in different types of group activity therapy as well. Some of these games are designed to build trust among friends and acquaintances. These exercises may also help establish trust among loved ones. Many of these exercises and games encourage eye contact and other forms of social interaction. Those who are typically uncomfortable with physical touch may benefit from this type of activity therapy.

Therapy materials are often used in exercise sessions. Some of the materials or items used include books, writing tablets, markers, or pens. Depending on the nature of the therapy, participants may be asked to depict a scene from early childhood, using paper and pen. These exercises may benefit those with speech impediments or disorders such as Asperger's syndrome. Asperger's is an autism spectrum disorder that can impair a person's ability to function socially.

Another form of group activity for all ages is something known as art therapy. Art therapy can be a creative outlet for those who have difficulty communicating in interpersonal relationships or interacting with others. This form of group activity therapy may involve collaborating with others on a painting or other project. Similarly, children with learning disabilities may participate in group activities involving arts and crafts.


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