While individual therapy gives people in recovery the chance to talk about problems privately, group therapy offers them the opportunity to get support and feedback from their peers. In a therapeutic community setting patients can both share and listen to stories, bond with other people who have been through similar experiences, and gain important communication skills from the group dynamic. Through group therapy, patients in recovery can receive emotional support from both their therapists and their peers who are there to help them through any difficulties that affect their ability to remain sober. The support of a group of peers can give people the strength and motivation to continue working hard in their efforts throughout treatment.
Sharing in a Group Setting
Group therapy sessions are led by a professional therapist that has training in facilitating meaningful group discussions. Each member of the group can have the opportunity to speak and share any stories, feelings or thoughts on subjects related to their addiction and the process of their recovery. As people within the group share, others can give helpful feedback or offer support once they have finished speaking. The biggest benefit of group therapy for many people is the chance to see that everyone has similar stories and has been through many of the same experiences that they have in their addiction. Hearing other people share personal stories can be a huge relief as it makes each person realize that they are not alone and that their problems are not bigger or different from other people’s problems. It can be an important revelation for people to finally see that addiction can happen to anyone and their struggles are common to everyone in the group.
Benefits of Group Therapy for Addiction
The dynamic of a group therapy session is a good way for recovering addicts to practice their communication skills that can help them once they leave treatment. They can become more accustomed to speaking openly and honestly in front of others and relating to their peers. Many people with addictions become isolated and avoid sharing their feelings with friends and family members. Group therapy is a way for them to finally be vulnerable and relate to the people around them instead of escaping through substance abuse. For a lot of patients it can be hard at first to open up and become comfortable speaking about personal things to a group. Eventually though, every person in a therapy group will benefit from sharing and using their own experiences to help others. The therapist leading the group will act as a moderator and make sure that everyone is there to support each other and provide their valuable insight.
A combination of different types of therapies can be most effective in treating addiction, with group therapy as an integral part. At Dr. Paul’s By The Sea clients in our treatment program will get to experience the benefits of group therapy while they are working to eliminate the symptoms of their addiction. Relating to others and becoming connected with them on a deeper level helps every patient to grow into a more emotionally intelligent and mature person. Patients will notice positive changes in themselves and the way that they interact with others the more that they spend time in a group setting as they heal through the support of their peers.