How Can First Steps Recovery Group Therapies Support My Journey?

How Can First Steps Recovery Group Therapies Support My Journey?

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Clients in addiction recovery often feel the need to self-isolate out of shame, guilt, or disappointment. However, self-isolation in recovery can hinder progress and be detrimental to clients’ well-being. In recovery, it is important to build connections, develop stronger social skills, and feel comfortable turning to others for support. Group therapies are an excellent way of building these connections. 

At First Steps Recovery, group therapies are incorporated into clients’ personalized treatment plans to enable clients to build these deeper, nonjudgmental, and more understanding connections.

Why Are Group Therapies Important in Addiction Recovery?

Group therapy occurs in a setting where multiple clients are gathered with one or multiple clinicians. This type of therapy Is offered for addiction recovery programs as well as for trauma, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and other mental health disorders. There are many functions and goals of group therapy. Some of the functions include:

  • Universality: Clients come to understand that there are others with similar or shared thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
  • Instilling hope: Clients witness their fellow group members encountering successes along their journeys and can then visualize their own successes.
  • Sharing knowledge: Clients discuss their experiences with each other and receive information from providers and therapists.
  • Building social skills: Clients practice positive social strategies in a safe setting.
  • Cohesiveness: Clients feel support, trust, and a sense of belonging within the group.
  • Interpersonal learning: The group becomes a safe space for learning for all members as people listen to others’ needs and feedback.
  • Self-understanding: Feedback from others helps clients grow in their ability to self-reflect.

Some goals of group therapies include:

  • Facilitating clients’ comfort and ability to function in the group setting
  • Applying functions from the therapy into one’s life, which includes adopting constructive behaviors and thinking patterns, using strengthened social skills, using healthy coping mechanisms, and returning to one’s normal routine in a seamless way

Group therapies are important for addiction recovery as they encourage clients to develop their social skills in a nonjudgmental environment. This format helps clients avoid self-isolation, which can hinder progress in recovery. Group therapies also give clients a safe, comfortable environment in which to practice their newly developed or learned skills.

What Group Therapies Are Offered at First Steps Recovery?

At First Steps Recovery, experienced and compassionate staff members encourage clients to participate in group treatments and counseling. Clients in inpatient programs, outpatient or intensive outpatient programs (IOPs), partial hospitalization programs (PHPs), or online treatment programs have group therapies available to them. Through these therapies, First Steps Recovery creates a safe and effective environment that enables clients to fully recover.

Clinical Therapies

Group therapies that fall into the clinical category often revolve around talk therapy. In talk therapy groups, clients who are recovering from similar addictions or have similar backgrounds are brought together in a group setting. Clients are guided in group therapies and encouraged to share their experiences with addiction and recovery. Together, clients work to strengthen social skills, create a welcoming and safe community, develop deep bonds with others who have shared experiences, and improve their mental and emotional well-being.

As mentioned earlier, clients in addiction recovery often feel the need to self-isolate. However, when people are placed in a setting where they can be fully understood, they begin to feel less of a need to stay isolated. Being surrounded by others who have shared experiences can provide safety and hope for all clients.

Holistic Group Therapies

First Steps Recovery extends the opportunities for group therapy by offering a number of holistic care services that take place in groups. These services include yoga therapy, art therapy, music therapy, wilderness therapy, equine therapy, and field trips, to name a few. Many of these services require clients to experience holistic healing in a group setting in order to work on internal healing while building social skills and a sense of community.

For instance, in wilderness therapy, clients gather in a group to experience the natural world together. This therapy is a tool for self-discovery and personal growth that allows clients to use the outdoors as a vice for self-exploration. Clients also build trust with one another in wilderness therapy and work on conflict resolution, assertiveness, patience, and impulse control alongside each other. Working on these skills in a collective group can make self-exploration and growth less overwhelming and more enjoyable.

Music therapy is another holistic service offered in a group setting. Clients sit together in a safe and supportive environment with a music therapist, participating in activities such as drum circles, songwriting, composition, and song interpretation. The group learns to invite one another’s interpretations and feelings in a nonjudgmental, supportive environment. Through music therapy, clients learn to express themselves in new and different ways and begin to experience more of a sense of joy, peace, and belonging.

At First Steps Recovery, our staff encourages clients to participate in group therapies. A group format is used for both standard clinical therapies and a variety of holistic options. Group therapy is crucial in the recovery journey as clients break their self-isolation and develop key social skills often lost to their addiction. Clients are invited to participate in talk therapy group sessions as well as holistic sessions such as wilderness therapy, music therapy, or art therapy. Group therapy brings a sense of support, peace, and belonging as clients can learn from each other’s experiences and journeys thus far. To learn more about group therapies at our facility, please call (844) 489-0836.

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