What is Social Therapy?
Social therapy is a particular kind of group therapy. People who are in emotional pain, experiencing relationship or family issues, or just feeling stuck in their lives join a community, in the form of a social therapy group. The group — people of varied backgrounds, histories and ages — shares responsibility for creating an environment in which everyone can get help.
One of the powerful discoveries of social therapy is that while we all experience pain as individuals, we get better — we grow and develop emotionally — with others. While traditional therapies (even group therapies) typically focus on the individual (the “self”), social therapy focuses on the group, on being with others — “in the world” — since, in fact, that is where we are.
Founded by philosopher, psychotherapist, and playwright Fred Newman, the social therapeutic approach has its roots in the progressive, humanistic movements of the 1960s and ’70s, and is today at the leading edge of the postmodernist movement in psychology. It is the topic of numerous academic and popular texts, and has inspired hundreds of practitioners and theoreticians. For more information on the philosophy and methodology of social therapy, visit the East Side Institute.