If you are thinking about entering a recovery program for addiction rehabilitation treatment, you’ve probably heard the term “group therapy.” If you’re unfamiliar with what this is, it’s important to learn more about it because group therapy can be an integral source of support not just during treatment but also as you are living a life of sobriety.
Like one-on-one therapy, group therapy can focus on a particular type of practice, such as cognitive behavior therapy, during regularly scheduled meetings, usually taking place once a week. Unlike individual therapy, however, there are several people involved in a group therapy session, which is led and moderated by a therapist. Group therapy offers specific benefits, and comes with certain expectations, so it’s good to be familiar with what it entails before getting started.
The Benefits of Group Therapy
Group therapy can be an ideal tool for recovery and sobriety. Meeting with others who are in a similar situation as you, or have experienced what you have experienced, can be invaluable for several reasons.
Perhaps most importantly, you will know you are not alone in group therapy. You will be surrounded by other people who understand you, and that can help you not feel isolated as you are building a new sober life during the early weeks and months after recovery. During sessions, you will discover that you and your fellow group members can have common ground. You all may have been addicted to different substances, but the behaviors and triggers underlying the addictions may be more alike than you think, and those shared experiences can help give all the group members sustenance and encouragement that none of you are alone.
As the group continues to meet, you will find a sense of trust developing among you and the other members. You may find valuable role models who are farther along in their sobriety journey and you can learn from their experiences. Conversely, you may one day be able to serve as a mentor to another person in the group. You will be creating a social network, a tribe of people you can rely on, and this will enhance your social skills and boost your overall emotional health.
That trust will be reinforced as all group members share their goals for recovery and sobriety. As you talk about the issues behind your addiction, you will get valuable feedback from the therapist and the group. They will hold you accountable for your sobriety goals, and encourage you to keep moving forward. They will share in your successes and support you in times of need.
What Will Be Discussed in Group Therapy
Group therapy sessions can cover a wide variety of topics. The therapist can introduce certain tools that can be used by anyone, such as coping strategies, stress relief techniques, and ways to manage anger. There may also be an educational component to sessions, revolving around the effects of substance addiction.
A therapist can set a particular topic for each session, and the focus can be on the entire group or specific individuals in the group. The therapist can also have each person in the group check in and share updates on their sobriety goals. This is a great opportunity to discuss challenges, as well as accomplishments, moments of inspiration and motivational tools. The structure of the meeting is guided by the therapist as well as the type of therapy involved. The goal for group therapy sessions is to provide much-needed support, insight into behaviors and necessary tools for living in sobriety.
Expectations of Group Therapy
Because group therapy creates an intimate environment, there are certain expectations for members to uphold. Regular attendance is a must—going to therapy every so often will prevent you from building relationships within the group and you will miss out on worthwhile opportunities to grow and learn. And because everyone in the group is sharing very personal information, confidentiality is a necessity.
If you decide to participate in group therapy, you are expected to be open and honest about the issues surrounding your addictive behaviors, as well as any struggles you may be facing in recovery or sobriety. So you need to be fully present, but that’s not limited to when the focus is on you. You also need to be an active and willing listener to the other group members, so that you may be able to encourage them and hold them accountable. Group members may also share with you important insight and wisdom, so it’s crucial to pay attention and listen to those words, as they can be helpful to you.
It’s also vital to respect the other members of the group and your therapist. You all must share a commitment to sobriety, with everyone working towards that goal. It may be tough at times, and require you to dive deep into messy issues, so you have to be ready for that. However, the rewards of doing this work in group therapy are well worth the effort.
Casa Palmera offers group therapy as part of its comprehensive recovery and rehabilitation programs. Our sessions are led by highly qualified therapists who can help you identify goals and get you engaged in the therapeutic process. To learn more, visit the Casa Palmera website today.