The best approach to addiction treatment is a comprehensive one. That means multiple methods with the same ultimate goal in mind: lifelong recovery. Group therapy is one approach with a number of benefits. This means it’s an obvious fit in a plan to combat addiction.
Eliminate Feelings of Isolation
One of the biggest goals of group counseling or therapy is eliminating feelings of isolation. It is very normal for individuals struggling with addiction to feel lonely. Even when surrounded by people who love and care about them, they may feel isolated by this disease.
This happens because those who don’t struggle with addiction can’t know what it feels like. In a group treatment setting, however, individuals have people around who know exactly what addiction is really like.
Participants have a team of people who understand the challenge of recovery and still cheer them on. This support is invaluable, and it can mean so much for recovery. Plus, knowing that others have achieved lifelong sobriety makes recovery seem possible. This can be an extra boost to continue working hard to achieve personal goals.
Gain Perspective From Peers
Even when individuals know the process of addiction recovery, it can be hard to follow through. Some feel victimized or don’t want to take personal responsibility for their actions. Others believe that they can handle moderation and that sobriety may not be for them.
Unfortunately, most of these perspectives are incorrect. Through group counseling, clients can communicate with others who know first-hand how tough recovery can be. Participants in group addiction therapy can share their perspectives with others, learning from peer experience.
For example, a counselor may tell a client that coping mechanisms are necessary to prevent relapse. During group counseling, that same client might hear the exact same thing from a peer. Often, the peer’s words hold more weight, because he or she shares a common experience and a common bond.
Share Without Judgment
It’s important for individuals in recovery to be able to share their experiences, emotions, and plans for the future. Often, however, people feel vulnerable and don’t want to open up. In group settings with peers, the whole process can feel easier.
Sharing without judgment is a big part of addiction counseling. Participants adhere to strict rules about anonymity, and what they say in group counseling stays within that setting. This ensures that people can feel comfortable and that there’s protocol in place to prevent judgmental actions or language.
Build Relationship Skills
Another function of group therapy is to build relationship skills. Often, addiction causes serious problems for relationships. Individuals may have to relearn how to listen and communicate effectively.
In group counseling sessions, there’s usually some kind of format to follow. When participants are speaking, others listen. This sounds simple but is a key part of learning how to communicate in society in a safe, healthy and friendly way.
Using Group Therapy as Part of a Full Treatment Plan
Clearly, group therapy can offer tremendous benefits to clients recovering from an addiction. It works best when it’s part of a larger, comprehensive plan for treatment. A range of programs can all be effective, and the benefits grow when facilities combine them. Some of the best supplemental treatment methods may include the following:
- Pharmacological treatment
- Trauma counseling
- Individual counseling
- Nutritional counseling
- Holistic approaches to healing
- Relapse prevention education
Group therapy can be a key tool in the fight against relapse. At Silver Pines Treatment Center near Hazleton, Pennsylvania, you can take part in a program that will help you combat addiction for good. Call 866-345-2147 to begin the path to meaningful recovery.