Group therapy is a powerful and useful tool against addiction. Being part of a group can give you insight into aspects of your journey that you were previously unable to see clearly.
Group therapy consists of more than one client, usually a group of 4-10, being treated by one or more therapists.
Patients have found a host of reasons why they enjoy group therapy and find it productive for their mental health journey. Group therapy encourages socialization, helps patients gain perspective, and shows patients healthy ways to interact with others.
What Is Group Therapy?
Most of the time, a patient enters a rehab clinic and undergoes a detox, lasting from a week to a few weeks, depending on the extent of the addiction. In some cases, the patient enters rehab after medically-supervised detox in another facility. Some patients need MAT or medication-assisted therapy, as well as behavioral treatment and support.
Many people struggling with addiction wonder, are there Suboxone doctors near me? With the rising popularity of MAT, there are doctors who can help you medically detox in a lot of places across the country.
Group therapy generally has between 4-10 members and meets weekly for sessions at an agreed-upon place. The therapist works as a moderator and facilitator, guiding the group and asking pointed questions.
The therapist’s main job is to set guidelines early on, providing a safe place for all involved. If properly conducted, group therapy can be a boon to people struggling with addiction issues.
Here are some more excellent benefits of group therapy.
Patients who engage in group therapy find that they lose the sense of isolation that can often be a symptom of addiction and mental health challenges.
Many addicts feel very alone, like no one understands them or has been where they are. Group therapy provides a safe space where patients can let down their guard and open up about some of the concerns that brought them there in the first place.
It also provides a secure area in which to practice their newly-acquired, sober, socializing skills. During addiction, interaction with others can be fraught. As the patient recovers from addiction, they have to rebuild many relationships damaged by trust issues.
A clear understanding is a crucial factor in healing these damaged bonds, and that takes communication skills that the recovered addict may or may not have. Group therapy provides a testing ground for these essential skills.
In the throes of addiction, it’s hard to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, and it’s equally as hard to believe that anyone else could understand what you’re feeling. Group therapy puts you into close contact with others who have experienced addiction and the myriad of woes it tends to bring.
One of the hurdles of addiction recovery is relating to other humans and understanding the pain they’ve been through, especially if you had anything to do with causing that pain.
A group setting places you amid peers, so empathy comes naturally. As you begin to readjust to a sober life outside a rehabilitation clinic and rebuild relationships that have been damaged, learning, or re-learning about the importance of empathy makes these transitions easier.
Provides a Support System
This safety net creates a web between the participants to cheer one another along and support one another when the going gets tough.
As you progress through the weeks and months of group therapy, you learn that you can rely on others. Conversely, you also become someone else’s support system, so it feels like an equal exchange of trust.
Hearing others’ stories in a group therapy setting opens your eyes to their experiences. As you discover more about your peers, you gain a clearer understanding of your situation, past choices, and future hopes.
Allowing yourself to be vulnerable and share these painful memories opens new pathways to build trust and gain perspective on the past, present, and future.
Models Successful Options
When you form meaningful bonds with the other patients in your group therapy, you see the progress on their sober journey. It’s a beautiful feeling to forge these bonds and cheer people on as they make significant steps toward a happy, healthy future.
These same people will become part of your support system after you have left the rehab clinic and embarked on your sober life journey. They stick with you, bolstering you when you need it, and congratulating you on your successes.
Some of your peers may be released from treatment early, and their choices can be a courageous model for you to follow.
Group therapy is often not as pricey as having one-on-one sessions. You gain some vital perspective, forge new bonds, and model the successes of others, and all for a lower cost.
Individual therapy sessions have many benefits and ones that differ dramatically from those of group therapy. However, for the price point, you get a lot of advantages from group therapy that you may be unable to afford in individual sessions.
There are some aspects of group therapy that don’t work for every patient. Sometimes, a patient becomes what is known as a social loafer, meaning that they don’t make an effort in the therapy sessions and piggyback on others’ steps.
Since there are several patients, some quieter, less vocal patients might not get as much speaking time as others, so some of their needs may not be met.
Confidentiality is not as tight as it is in individual sessions. Therapists are bound to their patients with doctor-patient confidentiality, and so anything that’s said during sessions will not leave the room.
These same strictures do not bind other patients, so discussion topics may be discussed after the sessions have ended.
Group therapy is a wonderful tool in your fight against discovery and your steps to recovery. Coupled with medication-assisted treatment and a reliable support system, patients can turn their life around, gain new insight, and rebuild relationships.
Right Path Addiction Centers offer this trifecta in your fight against the chains of addiction. If you are wondering, “Are there any qualified Suboxone doctors near me?” we can help you find the right support system to help you overcome your addiction. Call us to set up your appointment.
Native of Moldova, Dr. Zhitar is Board Certified in Addiction Medicine as well as Internal Medicine and completed his training at UPMC Shadyside, Pittsburgh, PA in 2000.