Addiction is more than physical dependence on drugs, alcohol, or any other substances. Certain psychological and social factors, such as stress, social networks, and cues in the environment can trigger an ongoing urge to use again. Psychotherapy can help you curb those cravings and learn to manage the ups and downs of daily life without harmful substances. When it comes to treating persons with substance use disorders, group therapy is the most frequently used form of psychotherapy. Group therapy for addiction has been a staple in most addiction treatment programs for decades now. In this article, we’ll examine the purpose of group therapy and the value of participating in this type of therapy when recovering from substance abuse.
Benefits of Group Therapy for Addiction
In addiction treatment, group therapy refers to a specific type of counseling where one or more therapists lead a group of recovering individuals in a guided discussion on substance abuse and various mental health topics. The counselor also offers feedback and additional advice to help each client understand themselves better and make continuous progress.
Typically, the same group of people meets with the same counselor — usually in a rehab facility — on an ongoing basis. Group therapy is a valuable treatment option when recovering from substance abuse. However, persons recovering from substance use disorder may struggle to attend group sessions due to the fear of opening up.
If you are one of those people, learning about the benefits of group therapy may assuage your fears and help you take advantage of group sessions to fast-track your recovery. Here are some of the said benefits.
You’re Not Alone
Loneliness is part of addiction recovery. You feel sad that there is no one available to talk, be with you, or understand. But with group therapy, you don’t have to feel that way. Group therapy provides people recovering from substance abuse with an opportunity to spend time with people who have gone through similar experiences and share their feelings without the fear of being judged.
As humans, we tend to think that we know ourselves best, but that’s seldom true. Our perception of the self is often distorted, and the best way to understand ourselves is through our interactions with other people. In group therapy, you can talk about your issues and get feedback from many people. You’ll understand yourself better, which helps your addiction recovery.
Practice New Skills
For the most part, the addiction treatment and recovery process is about learning behavioral and cognitive skills. Group therapy for addiction presents a rare opportunity to experiment with new behaviors. You can practice your newly acquired ways of thinking and behavior in a safe environment before venturing into the real world.
Working Together Toward Recovery
Connecting with people is central to addiction recovery. But that’s easier said than done. See, substance use disorder and other mental conditions that underlie it — including anxiety, depression, and more — make people feel ashamed of themselves. Shame can be very isolating. Joining a group of like-minded people and working together to overcome addiction can help your recovery.
The process of working through sobriety can be alienating. People recovering from substance abuse often feel isolated and forlorn. Group therapy presents an opportunity to connect with people who have gone through similar experiences to yours and recovering from substance abuse. You may feel safer sharing your thoughts and feelings with people who understand.
Are you, a loved one, or someone you know looking to start your sobriety journey? We can help. Located in Fresno, California, First Steps Recovery offers a safe, nurturing, and healing space for persons struggling with substance abuse. Contact us or call us now at 844-489-0836 for more information.