Group Therapy For Curing Addiction: What You Should Know
Group therapy may be the last option for someone recovering from alcohol or substance addiction. If seeking help and opening up to a therapist is already a challenge, what more if you’re baring your life to a group of perfect strangers?
The thought of sharing intimate information with strangers can be repulsing. You may worry about what these people will think or how you’ll start sharing your experience with them. But the truth is that group therapy is vital in curing addiction.
Group therapy is a cornerstone of addiction rehabilitation and recovery. It builds relationships that foster positive feeling and trust among each other – akin to the bond built between close friends. The sessions are carefully structured to make participants feel more comfortable in sharing and discussing experience, thoughts, and feelings with the group.
What is Addiction Group Therapy?
Group therapy is a treatment modality for various mental health conditions, including addiction. In this treatment modality, therapists bring together in a group people who deal with similar issues. Therapy sessions provide a safe and open setting wherein participants can discuss issues relevant to their rehabilitation.
Group therapy participants become emotionally attached or dependent on each other which can help influence positive change in that person. The overall goal of group therapy is to help participants understand the impact of addiction in their life while receiving support from their peers and therapists.
Typically, group therapy is recommended along with other rehabilitation and treatment regimens. For example, some addiction rehabilitation facilities use group therapy to reinforce the benefits of ibogaine treatment and achieve long-term sobriety.
What Makes Group Therapy Unique?
Interactions with other group members open up other perspectives and not just the input of the therapist. In individual therapy, you may doubt whether the therapist truly understands your experience. On the other hand, in group therapy, you are talking with people who share the same struggle. Group participants are more capable of understanding each other’s ordeal.
Group therapy creates a microcosm of the real world which the participants will face once their addiction rehabilitation is completed. Eventually, each participant’s strengths and weaknesses are unavoidably exposed in the group setting. Group interaction may reveal poor coping mechanisms like anger or resentment. Feedback from peers may elicit a negative response. These unmet struggles will inevitably be uncovered during the group therapy process. The therapist and group members can help the participant deal with these challenges in a safe setting.
Why Group Therapy is Effective?
Below are some of the reasons that make group therapy effective.
You’re not alone in the struggle.
People struggling with substance addiction often feel depressed, ashamed, and secluded. They often think they are alone. Knowing that other people struggle with the same condition offers relief. Having someone to share your experiences without prejudice can help in your addiction rehabilitation journey.
You learn new behaviors.
In individual therapy, the therapist helps you develop healthy coping mechanisms through a structured program. But with group therapy, you can learn new ways, thinking, and behaviors from your peers. These new behaviors can help you deal with the challenges in the real world.
You can get feedback from peers.
Interacting with other people allows us to understand ourselves better and not just our self-images. In group therapy, participants get feedback from peers. Often, feedback from peers is taken more seriously; hence, is more effective than that from the therapist. This is because of the perception that their peers can relate to their issues or ordeals than addiction therapists. Likewise, participants spend more time with each other so they have a deeper understanding of each other’s behaviors and thoughts.
You build a strong support system.
Group therapy opens up an avenue to develop friendships with other participants. These new relationships provide a source of encouragement and support not just during the therapy but even beyond. In case you have problems maintaining long-term sobriety, you can turn to the group for further support.
You learn to hope for a better future.
Addiction can make people feel helpless and hopeless. It’s easy to think that their rehabilitation is not making any progress. But with group therapy, participants witness the positive changes with their peers. Group members celebrate the milestones of each other as well as overcome challenges together. This teaches them to hope again and trust the recovery process.
Group Therapy For Curing Addiction What You Should Know