Group Therapy Gains on Couch in Recession

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 24, 2009 1:24 PM CDT
Normal one-on-one therapy is often too expensive in times like these.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Increasingly, having a couch to yourself is just too pricey. Group therapy is catching on as people look for a cheaper alternative to one-on-one sessions, the Wall Street Journal reports. And despite the One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest stigma it often endures, participants swear by it. “Group therapy is at least 50% less expensive,” said one patient, and it’s a “more realistic environment” for dealing with social fears.

Group therapy makes up less than 10% of the outpatient market, but studies have found it to be effective, and with the recession raging, many are discovering it. “Money figures into the decision-making of a fairly high percentage of those who are seeking group therapy,” says one psychiatrist. One sign that it’s catching on: The number of certified group therapists has tripled since 1994.