While the many mental (and even physical) health benefits of friendship  have been well established, I was struck by the similarity in benefits that GNO’s share with traditional group therapy.  I was asked about the topic by Malena Lott for an article she wrote for the Oklahoma Gazette.  Turns out, these Ladies-only events may actually be good for you as well as a fun break from everyday life.

In both situations, there can exist:

  • an opportunity to belong and to confide in others
  • an atmosphere that is both accepting and non-judgmental
  • a forum for sharing–for giving and receiving support and empathy
  • participating in and benefiting from group problem solving/collective reasoning
  • reassurance to the individual that she is not “the only one” who is experiencing the trials of everyday life
  • an occasion to be one’s “true self”: without having to maintain any pretense for fear of judgement or recrimination
  • a means to maintain a sense of connectedness with others
  • the possibility to “let loose”–to relax in the absence of day to day responsibilities

While a Girl’s Night Out is certainly not an appropriate substitute for Group Therapy (which is performed by trained and licensed specialists to address such complex issues as depression, addiction, abuse, and more), it can provide an opportunity for many women to reap some of the same therapeutic benefits as can be experienced in the group therapy setting. Women naturally communicate for the purpose of socialization to achieve closeness and intimacy; having a Girl’s Night Out utilizes our natural tendencies to connect with and support others through female friendships by providing a dedicated forum in which to do so. Girls’ Night Out can provide a wonderful opportunity to maintain and develop female friendships that can improve one’s overall happiness.