When receiving treatment for addiction, you will encounter various treatment modalities. One of the most popular therapeutic approaches to substance abuse treatment is group therapy. While the idea of group therapy can seem frightening for many, it has copious benefits for those starting their recovery journey.
Goals of Group Therapy
According to STATPEARLS, the main goal of group therapy is to construct a form of progressive functioning and comfort within the group setting and apply the skills learned into your everyday life. With a treatment professional facilitating the group, they are able to lead discussions in a progressive way and avoid members of the group feeling uncomfortable during the therapy sessions.
The Benefits of Group Therapy
Group therapy can be intimidating to participate in but can have more benefits to your treatment process than you realize. The benefits of group therapy do not only help you through your recovery process but also help with the transition of skills into your everyday life outside of a therapeutic setting. The numerous benefits of group therapy include:
#1. Learning From Other Peoples’ Experiences
It can be gratifying to hear others’ stories and learn from their mistakes. Other people in group therapy at a treatment facility may be able to provide you with some insight on a similar issue from their personal experience. Taking advice from others who have been through a similar situation may provide you with new ideas to consider implementing into your recovery. You can also learn about things others have tried that did not work for them in their recovery process and determine what path will be the most beneficial for your progress.
#2. Creating a Support System
Group therapy can also provide you with a strong support system. Commonly, members of group therapy activities leave as friends. As you get to know the other group members on a personal level, you may find that you have a lot in common. You have the potential to use the relationships you build as a support system for yourself, and you may even positively influence their recovery in the process. This can help deter the feeling of being alone in your recovery.
A significant benefit of developing a support system through group therapy is the level of accountability you are presented with. This support group can help encourage you to make the right choices and hold you accountable for your actions. This makes it harder to fall back into bad habits, knowing you could potentially let down your support system. You also can help to confront other members and encourage them to succeed. It creates a basic structure of support where everyone wants the best for each other.
#3. Practicing Your Life Skills
Group therapy gives you many opportunities to practice your social skills. After learning and practicing interpersonal skills, you may feel more comfortable using the skills outside of a treatment or therapy setting. Group therapy is an excellent time to establish comfort with these skills and improve your overall sense of understanding and communication in a safe environment. There can also be many opportunities to adapt new skills that you are currently unaware of. You also may be provided with feedback on your skill use from the facilitator or other members to strengthen your use of the skills you have already obtained.
#4. Avoiding Isolation
One issue you may be dealing with while recovering from addiction is isolation. While dealing with addiction, it is easy to disengage from the world around you and get trapped within your own mind. You may have also isolated yourself from other people in order to hide your substance abuse. Long-term isolation can have a counteractive effect on your recovery and cause you to feel alone through this time. However, attending group therapy creates a form of social interaction and socializing to avoid feeling isolated.
Overcoming Your Fears Surrounding Group Therapy
Opening up about your path of recovery to a group of strangers can be hard to achieve. You may struggle to open up due to the fear of rejection or judgment. However, group therapy is structured to provide you with a safe environment to open up and share your story. It is a normal response to have fears going into a group therapy setting, but stepping outside of your comfort zone can lead to a positive outcome.
It is essential to go into group therapy with reasonable expectations about the process. It may take time to develop these beneficial relationships and see the positive outcomes from attending. Staying in contact with the facilitator about your personal needs and progress throughout the group therapy process is vital to ensure you receive the intended positive effects.
Group therapy can positively impact your treatment process and social skills. Working with other individuals in similar situations, you have the opportunity to learn from their progress and setbacks and implement new ideas into your recovery plan. Engaging in group therapy can help you find a support system of like-minded individuals, practice your interpersonal and communication skills, and gain comfort in socializing with new individuals within a safe setting. If you or your loved ones are struggling with addiction, Dream Recovery can help. Included in our various therapeutic approaches to substance abuse treatment is group therapy. Our drug and alcohol program fosters positive change that empowers you to create the life you’ve always dreamed of. Our staff is here to walk with you every step of the way and help you get to the other side of addiction. For more information on our program and group therapy, call Dream Recovery today at (949) 732-1960.