Addiction is a difficult disease to have, as there is no cure for it and the symptoms can be deadly. When someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol and wants to stop to get clean, the very idea of going to treatment can be frighteningly overwhelming. It is normal for addicts and alcoholics to feel this way prior to going to treatment, but once they are there, they will start on a journey to transform their lives for the better. That transformation is rooted in the therapy that they participate in.
All levels of addiction treatment, ranging from residential treatment to outpatient treatment, offer a number of different types of therapy. The most common form of therapy offered is individual therapy, where the patient will work one-on-one with a therapist to identify and address their own personal issues as they relate to addiction. Other therapies can be built into a patient’s treatment plan, too, including behavioral therapy, trauma treatment, and motivational interviewing. But, arguably the most important form of therapy next to individual therapy is group therapy.
What is Group Therapy?
Group therapy is a form of therapy that brings together individuals who are sharing similar experiences. In addiction treatment, all participants in group therapy are attempting to recover from active addiction, providing them with an immediate connection with one another. Group therapy sessions are led by one or more licensed therapists and focus on addressing issues like past traumas, family histories, and triggers for substance abuse. The therapists will lead each session and invite all members to participate by sharing their responses and actively listening to one another. Group therapy focuses on getting patients engaged by doing role plays, trust exercises, and other hands-on activities that promote mental and emotional healing and wellness. Patients in treatment can expect to remain in group therapy for the duration of their program.
What are the Benefits of Group Therapy?
Group therapy is so widely regarded not only because it has been proven to be effective in treating addiction, but also because participating in it is highly beneficial for several reasons.
Developing a support system
Addiction can cause a person to isolate themselves from others, as well as lose tight bonds with friends, family, and loved ones. When the time comes to get treatment, many addicts and alcoholics look around and see that they have very little — if any — people to support them. But, when enrolled in a treatment program where group therapy is provided, that support system is developed between patients. Everyone involved gets to know more about each other, learn their stories, and work with them towards the common goal of long-term sobriety. These and other actions bring patients together and give them a place to express themselves, people to hear their words, and shoulders to lean on.
Gather different perspectives
Treatment is a time of transformation. People who are looking to go from active addiction to recovery have a lot of work to do in order to accomplish that goal. Doing it alone is nearly impossible. Being in group therapy allows individuals to talk through issues they share with one another, but it also gives them the opportunity to gain insight into different perspectives. For example, a patient may be hung up on how to handle a problem occurring in their lives, but through group therapy, they hear how others are managing to get through the same or similar problem. Their perspective can help a person get out of their own proverbial way and find a solution.
Practice new skills
Group therapy is one of the top places where people in recovery will learn new skills that help improve their lives. But learning new skills and actually putting them to the test are two completely different things. Rather than gaining the experience of using their skills in everyday social settings, patients can act them out with other members in their group therapy sessions. The opportunity to do this can increase the patient’s confidence in themselves, as well as give them the chance to fine tune their skills. Learning how to live a life of sobriety after getting out of treatment has plenty of challenges, but when able to work on some of the most important components of recovery in treatment, patients firmly solidify themselves in their foundation.
Group therapy forces patients to interact with one another. While this might sound like something negative, it is actually extremely positive. When encouraged to interact with other people, patients need to find ways to communicate effectively if they want to achieve any type of success. The therapists in group therapy sessions can help guide that communication or point out areas that need improvement. Role playing can be a vital component of learning how to communicate and why it is important. Patients who learn how to communicate with others in a respectful, effective way can go on to experience an easier experience in the early years of their recovery.
Group therapy allows patients to feel like they are part of something greater than themselves. It gives them something to be accountable to and offers them the chance to do some intense personal reflection and work. The partnerships that can form in group therapy sessions can serve as the fuel for patients to keep going.
Do You Need Help? Call Hathaway Right Now.
Being addicted to drugs and alcohol is extremely troubling and distressing. The longer you drink and/or do drugs, the more likely you are to suffer a fatal consequence of your disease. While addiction cannot be cured, it can be treated. At Hathaway, we offer the treatment that can help you transform your life for the better.
So, if you are struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, call us right now. We understand what you are going through and are here to let you know that you have our support. Do not let one more day go by without reaching out for the help that you so deserve. Call us today. We can help.