Group Therapy for Drug and Substance Use
The thought of individual therapy can be intimidating for someone who is not comfortable sharing their personal information. Bearing your soul in front of a stranger can seem more daunting than helpful, even if they are a professional. But there are many benefits to attending, and in many cases, it can help maintain sobriety.
As an alternative to individual therapy, a group therapy setting offers many benefits to people struggling with substance abuse. Group therapy allows you to open up before attending individual therapy. You get a feel for how therapy works and how the conversation flows through the session.
Benefits of Group Therapy
Group therapy is led by one or more therapists who guide a group of people through discussion on a particular topic everyone involved may be experiencing. Substance abuse group therapy will focus on discussing addiction, coping strategies, and sharing personal experiences. Therapy can be offered in a clinical setting, hospital, community center, or private practice.
Although it has its differences, studies have shown that group therapy can be just as effective as individual therapy. Below are some of the many benefits group therapy has to offer.
- You can give support while also receiving it. Being in a group setting allows you to surround yourself with those going through the same thing as you. In the same way you need support, they need support. This also gets you into the practice of creating healthy two-sided relationships. Group discussions allow you to work on your communication skills since you have to talk through your feelings and experiences with others. Learning to be vulnerable enough to speak how you feel teaches you the importance of speaking up for yourself and what you need, and group therapy gives you the tools to do so.
- It helps you develop communication skills. Many of us lack good communication skills though we are not always aware of it. Knowing how to actively listen and respond to someone in conversations can be challenging. Group therapy allows you to learn how to engage with others in an attempt to listen and understand.
- You can practice new skills. The purpose of addiction treatment is to teach you new behavioral skills, cognitive skills, and stress management so that you may have tools to lead you through recovery. You can also learn new ways of interacting with others. Whether you struggled with codependent relationships in the past or simply have difficulty interacting with others, group therapy provides the perfect practice for learning healthier social skills.
- Different perspectives are offered. Individual therapy only allows you and the therapist to assess and respond to your circumstance. This can feel one-sided since the therapist likely hasn’t been in your shoes. Being in a group with someone who has professional experience as well as people who have substance issues themselves allows for multiple perspectives. Feeling understood and heard helps you make a big step towards getting into a headspace to make healthier choices and leave your substance issues in your past.
Types of Group Therapy
The complexities of addiction mean therapy is not one-size-fits-all. Some people may need more support with the management of their emotions and behavioral changes. Someone else may need more support in keeping sobriety and preventing relapse. Every individual’s recovery is unique. Here are a few different types of groups for someone experiencing addiction.
- Support groups are run by the members and are used to offer support to one another. This style of therapy is not led by a professional and isn’t always in a clinical setting.
- Psychoeducational groups are used to help educate groups of people. They focus on anger management, mental health issues, health and wellness, trauma, among other topics.
- Relapse prevention therapy groups are used to provide education on the result of addiction and serve as accountability partners to ensure you’re staying sober.
- Cognitive-behavioral groups work on anger and behavioral management, which helps you make healthier choices in dealing with negative emotions.
How to Find the Right Group for You
Talking to your mental health professional is a great place to start looking for a group to join. They can recommend or refer you to local support groups for therapy. Some therapists may work in clinics or mental health settings that have addiction recovery groups you can attend.
The internet is your biggest tool for finding information. You can use the web to search for local substance abuse support groups and who to contact if you are interested. As you begin to consider your options, here are a few questions you can ask yourself:
- Do I want to attend a large meeting or a smaller and more intimate meeting?
- Is the group open to anyone joining at any time or closed for specific people?
- Will group therapy be enough for me?
- Is the group specifically for substance abuse, or are other topics discussed as well?
Group therapy has been used to help addiction recovery for many years and offers many great benefits. It allows you to find confidence in your voice by sharing your stories with people going through the same process. You should not have to fight the battle of addiction alone. At Mountain Peak Recovery, we understand how vulnerability plays a crucial role in the healing process. Our staff and serene location offer a comforting environment to help you dig deep and work through your addiction. Having the support of others during a difficult time can help you feel less lonely and gives a greater sense of encouragement. We know the importance of surrounding yourself with the right people to help guide you to creating a healthier lifestyle. If you or a loved one are ready to start the journey towards sobriety, call Mountain Peak Recovery at (801) 824-8829 to find out how we can help.