As the world moves toward improving society’s overall mental health and well-being, therapists and other mental health professionals are promoting group therapy practices and bonding activities. Having a strong and loving support group of friends or family to fall back on when things get tough is a great way to improve your mental health and learn more ways to cope with the stress of life.
Blending group therapy and fun bonding games is a perfect way to get the most out of your support group and allow everyone to bond, open up, and find new ways to manage their mental health struggles. Plus, when you get therapy with those you love, you’re more likely to be consistent.
Sitting down with a solid group of friends, talking things out, giving emotional support to each other, and making good use of some simple and fun therapy activities for groups is a perfect way to create a strong support system and improve mental health and wellbeing as friends.
Everyone has different and unique experiences throughout their lives and we have all learned from the good and the bad things that have happened to us. While everyone experiences things differently, practicing Reminiscence Therapy with a group of close friends is a great way to share experiences and reminisce on good times to lift your spirits and give each other advice and support.
When mental health struggles become all too much, it can be very difficult to remember the good times when your brain is always focusing on the bad. Reminiscence therapy can be a perfect way to think back to happy memories and moments while acknowledging the difficult times and train your brain to appreciate your experiences.
Reminiscence therapy blends talk and group Therapy to allow people to share similar stories and experiences among friends, helps them look back on fond memories, have their emotions and feelings heard and validated, and gain support and advice from the rest of the group.
Taking time to sit down as a group and use reminiscence therapy to share experiences and fond moments and gain support and understanding from each other is a great way to heal from past trauma and build a strong support group to navigate the troubles of life.
Good and bad games
A great way to bond with friends is by playing icebreakers and word association games to learn what the people around you think about life and everything in it. Playing these word games with each other can be used for therapeutic purposes to discuss difficult topics and ease the group into opening up and exploring trauma and our feelings associated with events or objects.
Starting with easy questions that will get everyone more acquainted is a good place to start before getting into the deeper topics. Ease into things with general questions about likes and dislikes and slowly but surely get into the nitty-gritty and more uncomfortable topics to explore trauma.
Getting to know your support group, opening up about difficult topics, and giving and receiving advice and opinions regarding these topics helps you learn to discuss trauma and other challenging subjects as a group and collectively grow and heal from them.
Word association games are also simple and helpful group therapy exercises because, like icebreakers, it helps the group become more aware of each other’s preferences, triggers, and past traumas. Think of objects, situations, people, and other subjects, and go around the group giving everyone the chance to say the first word that comes to mind after hearing the subject.
Using word association games to discuss difficult topics helps everyone think critically about how they feel about the subjects as well as giving the group a chance to compare thoughts and feelings. Learning to recognize and acknowledge your feelings and the feelings of those around you about easy and difficult subjects is crucial to finding support and healing from trauma.
Another fun and simple therapeutic activity to try with your friends is going around the group and giving each other compliments and mood boosts to help your friends learn to love themselves, feel loved and seen by their support group, and promote overall love and support in the group.
Having a support group to fall back on when the going gets rough is important to finding comfort for difficult times in life and having someone to celebrate your achievements with. Cultivating a strong, supportive, and loving environment among the group is crucial to maintaining healthy relationships for healing and promoting success and love for the future.
Taking turns going around the group, think of things you really like about someone in the group, and compliment them for that characteristic, whether that be a physical or personality trait or just something they did that made you happy. Making an effort to compliment your friends on something more meaningful rather than an empty compliment is a good way to show them that you care and that you notice and appreciate their effort.
Showing your friends and the people in your support group that you really care about them and see their efforts and struggles is a perfect way to cultivate a loving and supportive environment of close-knit friends who will be there for each other for the good and the bad times.
Mental health struggles can be scary and exhausting to face on your own, so reaching out and finding a supportive group of friends to love and support you in your time of need is a healthy and productive way to work through your problems and have a shoulder to cry on when things get rough.
Keeping these supportive friends close to you for the good and the bad times in life allows you to always have someone to come to for comfort or advice no matter what happens.
Taking time to sit down as a group and try out some therapeutic group exercises is a fun and healthy way to grow closer as a group and find healing in the comfort of a loving support group.