Building a strong connection to a social group helps clinically depressed patients recover and helps prevent relapse, according to a new study. While past research has looked at the importance of social connections for preventing and treating depression, it has tended to emphasize interpersonal relationships rather than the importance of a sense of group identity. In addition, researchers haven’t really understood why group therapy works. “Our work shows that the ‘group’ aspect of social interaction is critical,” the authors note.
For around two years now I have participated in groups related to the MBTI. I found it to be quite enjoyable and I think it might be due to the fact that a rare MBTI type makes people feel part of a group and less isolated. The friends that I have made through the group feel like a support network that is always there when I need it and if I had a smart phone I could have instant access to it where ever I am. Additionally, some people in this group even suffer from mood disorders themselves.
Compared to other relationships I believe I have shared more information about myself. There is an interesting contrast of anonymity and a feeling of closeness.
I think the fact that the group’s focus is on something positive, which is exploring one’s identity/personality, is also what makes it helpful. I don’t think a mental health group where the focus is more negative would be as useful.