The benefits of group therapy can be seen in recovering addicts and alcoholics across the world. When people think about therapy, it is oftentimes thought of as a therapist and their patient in a room discussing feelings. While this can be true, there is more than one form of therapy than just the traditional one-on-one setting.
Sitting in a group setting, discussing traumas and feelings may seem like an uncomfortable position to be in. However, the benefits of group therapy can be far more beneficial for those seeking recovery from drug and alcohol addiction than just stopping substance use. Having a group of people who are like you to relate to, with the guidance of a professional, can help you to learn the positive and negative parts of you.
There are two main types of group therapies that are mainstreamed in drug rehab and alcohol treatment, but there are many other forms of group therapy available. Here we will focus on the more commonly used therapies.
This type of group therapy focuses on the interpersonal aspect. Process groups consist of a group of people sitting together discussing their struggles, along with a therapist acting as a buffer and helping the individuals in the group to process through the thoughts and feelings they are expressing. This allows for people to open up and relate to others around them who are having similar thoughts and feelings, and this relatability lets people know that these thoughts and feelings are okay to have. There is no designated structure, almost like an open forum of conversation. However, there may be themes and topics associated with these types of groups. The benefit of group therapy that is process oriented is that they allow for open and honest communication from one person struggling with addiction to another.
Psychoeducational groups generally have some form of an educational aspect where participants learn different psychologically associated themes. These types of groups teach coping mechanisms that are healthy and productive to a lifestyle of recovery. Anger management can be a topic of these types of groups, and there are benefits of group therapy that focus on these educational topics. Learning how to de-escalate anger, and turn it into positive energy can keep someone from making a rash decision to go back out and pick up drugs or alcohol. In conclusion, a relapse can have fatal consequences, especially after a period of being clean and sober.
The benefits of group therapy can be clearly seen in the lives of people recovering from alcohol and drug addiction. Providing a safe and relatable space can be beneficial during pivotal points in one’s early recovery.
Being able to share openly and freely among peers that are in the same position helps you to know that those around you are also struggling with similar, if not the same problems. After all, expressing the true nature of your feelings isn’t always easy, so the benefits of group therapy include being able to be vulnerable with peers.
It is always encouraged to open up to peers during group therapies. However, it is not a requirement and participants need only speak if they are comfortable. Everyone deserves to feel like they are safe in speaking up about what is going on, and these group settings provide that safe space to do just that.
Others that are experiencing the same thoughts and emotions that you are could help to prevent relapse. Participants who benefit from group therapies often identify with someone, and are able to stay the course even if just for the time being because their peers have shared their struggles and someone else can relate to it. This helps to teach people how to make it through those hard times.
Benefits of group therapy include social skills. Talking to others helps to open up lines of communication with people you may not know. It also helps build social relationships with those people.
The naturally formed bonds that can occur in group therapy is amazing. The participants often build friendships and can be positive influences to someone struggling to stay sober.
Not everyone is at the same stage in any given group. In fact, some people may be further along in the process. This allows for people who are just coming into the groups to see that recovery is possible. It also allows them to see that the benefits of group therapy far outweigh the risks.
If you or a loved one are struggling with drugs or alcohol, there is help. There is support, and there is a safe space where you can find help to stay clean and sober. Here at Louisville Addiction Center, we strive to provide that safe space to those seeking recovery. Contact us today and start your journey to the rest of your life.