Explore This Treatment Program

Group psychotherapy is a form of therapy in which a small number of people meet under the leadership of a trained therapist, generally once a week. The members of the group work to help themselves and one another. In group therapy people learn about themselves and improve their interpersonal relationships.

All of our therapy groups are led by mental health professionals. Members share feelings of isolation, depression, low self-esteem or anxiety. They also share their progress and solutions to problems. Group therapy helps people make significant changes, so they feel better about the quality of their lives.

We offer a wide variety of groups, including:

  • Psychodynamic/interpersonal therapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy
  • Special interest groups (bulimia nervosa, medical illness, OCD)

In addition to providing clinical care, the Group Psychotherapy Center trains residents and psychology interns in the theory and practice of group psychotherapy. Trainees learn from distinguished faculty who teach nationally and internationally.

How to Enroll in a Group

If you are interested in a group, please call the Psychiatry Access Line at 617-724-7792 and express your interest in the group program. You will be scheduled for an intake with one of our psychologists who will help assign you to an appropriate group.

Note: You must have a primary care provider or psychiatrist at Mass General in order to participate in the group program.

Group Psychotherapy Sessions

General Psychodynamic/Interpersonal Process Groups

Psychodynamic/Interpersonal groups are unstructured and process-oriented. They are useful for individuals looking to talk about difficult life experiences and feelings in a safe and confidential environment and to get support from others. These groups also act as a microcosm of the larger world and are a place where members can try out new, more functional ways of interacting with others and get feedback about how other people view them interpersonally.

Groups generally consist of a maximum of eight people who have made a commitment to the group for at least six months. New members can join at any time if space allows. There are currently five psychodynamic groups offered at Mass General.

Time: Mondays 10–11 am and 4–5 pm, Tuesdays 5–6 pm, Fridays 1–2 pm

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Group for Anxiety

This 12-week skills-based outpatient therapy group is ideal for women and men aged 18 and older who are seeking to learn new skills to cope with anxiety and have a PCP at Mass General. The group will be appropriate for individuals who are diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder or a specific phobia.

The group is not designed to address symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder or personality disorders. The group is also not designed to offer adequate support for patients with a co-morbid major depressive disorder or recent hospitalization unless your mood is stable and you are actively involved in individual psychotherapy for these other issues. This group may not be appropriate to provide adequate support for patients with co-morbid ADHD and learning disabilities or active substance use disorder issues.

The group consists of two six-week modules. The first module is designed to provide psychoeducation and cognitive techniques to manage anxiety. The second module is designed to focus on behavioral change strategies that will include opportunities to practice relaxation techniques and exposure to feared situations. Patients can enter the group at the beginning of either module and are expected to continue until they have completed both modules. All potential patients will need to undergo an evaluation with the group leader to assess the fit between the patient’s needs and the goals of the group.

Time: Tuesdays, 5:30–6:45 pm
Start Dates: Not running currently, contact us to learn more

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Structured skills-based therapy designed specifically for patients with borderline personality disorder. Group requirements include weekly individual psychotherapy and a clear ongoing commitment to consistent attendance.

Time: Mondays, 12:00–1:45 pm and 2:30–4:14 pm; Wednesday 11:00 am–12:45 pm

Skills-Practice Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Structured skills-based therapy designed specifically for patients with borderline personality disorder who have completed previous skills training. This group is designed to assist members in their utilization and generalization of DBT skills and principles. Group requirements include individual psychotherapy and a clear ongoing commitment to practicing skills.

Time: Mondays, 4:00 pm

Coping Skills for Healthy Living

This is an 18-week skills-based group derived from DBT for adults who are interested in learning state-of-the-art coping strategies when confronted with difficult emotions.

Time: Wednesdays, 2:00–3:30 pm 

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy for Eating Disorders

This 16-week skills-based group is appropriate for adults 18 and older looking for therapist and peer support in reducing many different eating disorder behaviors. Key components include marshaling motivation for change, identifying tools for coping with negative emotions, enhancing body image and preventing relapse.

Time: Tuesdays, 9:00 - 10:15 AM

Please contact the Eating Disorders Clinical and Research Program at 617-724-0799 to inquire about availability and schedule an intake appointment for this group.

Living with Persistent Medical Symptoms and Pain

This group is an open-ended, mixed adult group for individuals struggling with persistent medical and pain problems. Participants in this group have made a commitment to therapeutically address such issues as acceptance, communication and coping related to their medical condition and symptoms. The group offers a balance of interpersonal learning and support along with an opportunity for acquiring personally meaningful coping strategies.

Time: Tuesdays, 12:45–2:00 pm

Mature Adult Group

Aging confronts us with challenges to our bodies, our minds, our hearts and our spirits. Members of this group will work with the co-leaders to face these issues and seek the opportunities for therapeutic change and growth present, not in spite of these challenges, but because of them.

Time: Mondays, 2–3 pm; Thursdays 1–2 pm

OCD Spectrum Disorders Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Maintenance Group

This ongoing, rolling-admission group is appropriate for people who have already had successful individual cognitive behavioral therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder, trichotillomania or compulsive skin picking (meaning symptoms may still exist but are mild). Group members are encouraged to use their skills to maintain their progress as they transition out of individual therapy. You will receive support from other members to achieve this goal and aid each other in completing exposures during group sessions.

Time: Once a month on Fridays, 3:00–4:15 pm

Coping Skills for Depression Group

Skills covered will include: behavioral activation and scheduling, decreasing procrastination, increasing attention to sleep, nutrition, exercise, medication compliance, mindfulness, cognitive restructuring, increasing social supports and decreasing social isolation.

Time: Tuesdays, 12:00–1:15 pm

Stress and Resilience Process Group

A time-limited one-year group that is run in two phases. The first ten weeks will consist of the Stress Management and Resiliency Training Program (SMART) a multi-modal mind body medicine group developed at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. During the second phase, members will be expected to begin a daily mindfulness practice and the group will run as a general process group.

Time: Tuesdays 2:15–3:30 pm

Women’s Self-esteem Group

A semi-structured group for women in their late 20s to late 60s to improve self-esteem, effective self-assertion and self-compassion. Group includes teaching (introduction of information and concepts), experiential exercises and open discussion.

Minimum commitment for this group is 16 weeks. Content will not repeat, so longer-term participation is encouraged. Those who might never have thought of joining a group are especially welcome. An individual therapist is not required. This may be a useful next step for those completing individual therapy, but is also appropriate for those who have never been in psychotherapy.

Examples of issues confronted in this group include: care-taking or other role strain, stress-exacerbated physical or mental illness, mild to moderate depression, mild to moderate anxiety, self-criticism, indecision, loneliness, difficult or unfulfilling relationships, life or role changes.

Time: This group is not currently running. Please check back for updates.

Other Group Psychotherapy Options

If you do not see groups on this page that address the issues you would like to work through, you can also check the following listings:

Additional Resources

Social Services Department at Massachusetts General Hospital

Clinical social workers at Mass General are licensed mental health professionals trained to help people find solutions to many emotional problems from daily crises to life’s most difficult situations. We accomplish this through a unique combination of psychotherapy, active problem-solving and direct connection with the network of community resources.

Clinical social workers work with both patients and their families to:

  • Deal with crisis
  • Cope with illness and other life stressors
  • Identify and solve problems with relationships
  • Enhance communication with the medical treatment team to enable patients and families to be active partners in their own healthcare
  • Access hospital and community services

Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy

The Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy is a Regional Affiliate of the American Group Psychotherapy Association. Founded in 1956, its mission is to:

  • Provide a forum for the exchange of ideas about group psychotherapy
  • Encourage the development of sound training in group psychotherapy
  • Establish and maintain high standards of ethical and professional practice
  • Disseminate information to interested professionals and the public about group psychotherapy

American Group Psychotherapy Association

The American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA) is an interdisciplinary community that has been enhancing practice, theory and research of group therapy since 1942. AGPA provides the support you are looking for to enhance your work as a mental healthcare professional or your life as a member of a therapeutic group.