Stepping into treatment can be overwhelming. You will be expected to uphold expectations that are out of your usual routine. This can lead to anxious feelings. You may find that you are especially anxious about attending and engaging in group therapy, as it requires you to be vulnerable in front of new people.

As someone who may be feeling anxious about group therapy, it’s essential to recognize this is a common experience. It’s normal to feel uneasy sharing personal struggles with strangers. Fortunately, it is also normal to learn to overcome anxiety about group therapy to receive its full benefits.

Benefits of Group Therapy

While it can be intimidating, group therapy offers numerous advantages for those in recovery. By overcoming your fear of group therapy, you will maximize its beneficial effects, leading to growth and healing.

Remembering the benefits of group therapy can motivate you to overcome your anxiety about participating in this form of therapy at Dream Recovery. 

Social Connection

Group therapy offers the chance to connect with others going through similar experiences. This is a powerful tool for reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness. It can be easy to feel alone in your addiction and fall into a state of self-isolation. Having this form of connection can help you as you progress through your recovery journey.

Improved Social Skills

Being part of a group provides individuals with an encouraging and supportive atmosphere to practice their social skills. This can improve communication abilities, foster relationships, and boost confidence for engaging in social situations. When you move forward, you will be able to apply those social skills in the workplace as well.

Support and Feedback

Group members can offer encouragement, advice, and criticism to one another which can make individuals feel heard and validated. It also provides valuable insights that an individual may not have considered on their own. A second opinion given in an honest but nonjudgmental way can be incredibly motivating and helpful.

Group therapy brings together individuals from various backgrounds and experiences. This gives individuals an opportunity to gain new perspectives and ways of thinking through their Dream Recovery support system. Outside perspectives can be especially beneficial in breaking down stereotypes and eliminating stigma.

How to Overcome Anxiety About Participating in Group Therapy

It is key to remember that you are not alone in feeling anxious about group therapy. Many individuals who attend group therapy experience similar feelings of apprehension and uncertainty. Keeping this in mind is important. It can help make the following steps even more effective in helping you overcome this anxiety.

Accept That You Are Anxious About Group Therapy

Self-compassion is a powerful tool for coping with anxiety. Recognize that feeling anxious and isolated are normal emotions. Be kind to yourself by acknowledging that attending group therapy is a brave step towards healing and growth.

Try affirmations such as “I am strong enough to overcome my fears” or “I deserve support and healing.”

Discuss Your Concerns with Your Therapist

If the thought of group therapy seems too intimidating, work with your individual therapist to address your anxiety. They will assist in exploring the underlying causes of your anxiety and developing strategies to manage these feelings.

Additionally, if you have any specific concerns about participation in group therapy, they can address them with you. They may also provide tools that make group therapy settings more comfortable for you.

Share Your Feelings with a Friend

Anxiety is often reduced when we put our worries into words. Your therapist is not the only person who can help you process your anxiety.

Share your feelings with a trusted therapist, friend, or family member who can help you to process them. Doing this can help you prepare mentally for your next group therapy session.

Practice Deep Breathing Before a Group Therapy Session

One effective strategy to manage social anxiety is deep breathing. Before attending a session, take several slow, deep breaths to relax your nerves and focus on your breathing. This can help center you and reduce feelings of fear.

Practicing mindfulness techniques such as meditation or yoga may be beneficial as well.

Don’t Rush the Process

Another strategy to manage anxiety around group therapy is taking small, gradual steps. You may not choose to share the details about your life in the first few sessions, but slowly open up over time.

Hearing other members of your group be vulnerable first can put you at ease. Seeing people receive support after they have been honest about their struggles can make you feel more willing to share too. Remember: everyone is here to receive support. This requires them to be vulnerable as well.

Attending group therapy sessions with friends or family members who can offer encouragement can also be beneficial in helping you realize that the group therapy space is one of support. In group therapy, members are encouraged to see the best in each other, as well as themselves. Allow time for this to occur by taking gradual steps.

Remember That You Are in Control

It’s essential to remember that you have the power of control over your level of participation in group therapy. Don’t feel obligated to share anything that makes you uncomfortable or that you don’t feel ready to discuss. It’s perfectly acceptable to take time and listen before sharing personal experiences.

Allow yourself to move forward and accept the fearful unknown. After adjusting to the idea of group therapy, you may begin to see how it is benefiting your everyday life. You may even begin to like it. Don’t allow fear to hinder yourself from the power of community for healing and support.

If you are struggling with anxiety about participating in group therapy, remember that you are not alone. It’s common to feel uneasy about sharing personal struggles with strangers. Remember that group therapy offers numerous benefits that can aid in your recovery. Take small, gradual steps, and don’t feel obligated to share anything that makes you uncomfortable. Remember that other group members are there for support rather than judgment. Discuss your concerns with your therapist, and practice mindfulness techniques to manage anxiety. By overcoming your fear of group therapy, you can maximize its beneficial effects, lead to growth and healing as you progress in your recovery. To learn more, reach out to Dream Recovery at (657) 216-7218.

Call Now Button