The Benefits of Group Therapy When Overcoming Addiction

Are you an adult looking for inpatient services for an addiction? Perhaps you’re the parent of someone who’s struggling with drug or alcohol dependency issues?

You might have tried self-help techniques or seen a counselor one-on-one. Have you ever considered the benefits of group therapy?

You may be skeptical of the value of listening to other people talk through their problems, but the positive impacts are many and varied. The reason groups work so well is that they engage in many therapeutic benefits at once.

Groups can also treat problems that are a by-product of addiction. Group therapy can remove or reduce depression, isolation, and shame. This can be even more effective than other therapeutic interventions.

If you or your loved one are ready to find healthy ways to address the pain, it’s time to consider group therapy. The road to recovery is less daunting when you aren’t alone.

The Value of Groups

Groups have many therapeutic benefits, whether there is a clinician goal or not. Humans are social creatures, and forming bonds with others is part of our deepest and most basic needs.

The repetitive message that is reinforced by a group is that an addict is not alone in their troubles. Hearing how others have relapsed yet found ways to cope is of great help.  

When someone is in their darkest place with an addition, often all their meaningful connections have been damaged or broken. You can meet that need for connection by establishing a bond of trust with a group. Identifying with peers provides much strength for the recovery ahead.

Not wanting to let a group down is a powerful motivator for continued success in pursuing a goal.

Gaining Insight

One of the most significant benefits of group therapy is chipping away at underlying pain. This can happen subconsciously by identifying with the experiences of others.

The value of groups to addiction recovery is that they can often cause a sufferer to open up to a breakthrough. This may have been elusive during one-on-one therapy. Once someone opens up to the group, they often find it easier to explore the insight further during individual sessions.

Learning from others and giving back by teaching your insights is powerful and reaffirming for recovery.

Developing Skills

Learning the skills that you need to break out of an addiction is one of the major plus sides of group therapy. You need new skills to cope, rather than relapse to substance abuse.

As group participants develop bonds with other members and the group as a whole, the experience can help them readdress dysfunctions that the addiction may have caused to their interactions with family members. Communication skills are sharpened by interacting with a variety of other personalities within the group. This is invaluable when a sufferer’s ability to communicate has been blunted by the loneliness of addiction.

The mind has a great affinity for recognizing patterns. When a group is headed by a skilled leader, the group members will benefit from the collective experience. Recognizing the addiction triggers for others may resonate personally, and it is extremely useful for enabling progress. Likewise, hearing many coping strategies that worked for others may set off one or two light bulbs that will encourage an addict to try new approaches.

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a  modified form of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). It may be used in group therapy to give you some coping skills to apply to triggers such as events, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

CBT groups are used to rearrange thought patterns and actions that are connected with addiction. Distorted perceptions of oneself can be debunked via group feedback and repetitive themes can be self-identified over time.

Support Network

A support group allows members to poke holes in the excuses that other members might use to enable their continued addiction. The group fosters an environment where healthy and creative changes can occur in the collective mindset.

Because all the members of a support group have similar circumstances, members tend to feel more empowered to share, with less fear of negative judgment. Some of the bonds may grow into friendships that extend outside the group and beyond treatment. Having the support of a trusted friend to reach out to in a time of weakness can help reinforce sobriety for both.

Not wanting to let down the group and role-modeling good behavior for each other becomes a compelling reason to stay on the road to recovery in itself. The encouragement and support of the group can fill a void that may be absent in some member’s family dynamics.

One of the greatest benefits of witnessing a group succeed is self-belief that it is possible to overcome any obstacle without reverting to destructive habits.

Reframing the Past

In a residential treatment center, a range of therapies may take place. Some may deal with looking at the past through a present lens and rethinking life problems that led you to escape through addiction.

Past trauma, such as abuse may also come up in the group because it has a large impact on a victim’s life. Specialists understand those needs and can support your healing during individual therapy or within the group.

Group therapy in a residential environment allows for recovery 24 hours a day. You can connect, share, and listen as you work collectively towards a healthy substance-free future. As you enter a residential treatment program, a medically managed detox protocol can help ease the pain of withdrawal.

The Benefits of Group Therapy

We’ve shown that the benefits of group therapy are plentiful and essential for a full, sustainable recovery. Don’t let an addiction isolate you from the world.

If you’re an adult searching for inpatient drug and alcohol treatment, we can help you. We are a dynamic recovery center nestled in the hills of Malibu, CA, specializing in individualized treatment that works. 

Contact us today to take your first step.

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