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What Are The Advantages Of Group Therapy In Addiction Treatment?

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Treatment for substance use disorders requires a combination of techniques that facilitate a long-term recovery. Therapy, when used in combination with other treatments, can prove especially effective. One of the most utilized therapies by addiction professionals is group therapy, which has many advantages.

In a group therapy setting, an addiction professional brings together a group of individuals who are facing similar struggles. By providing a safe environment for guided discussion, participants have the ability to discuss their challenges and hopes for recovery. Group therapy has the ultimate goal of helping participants gain a deeper understanding of their substance use disorder while gaining and giving support to others in the group.

The Benefits Of Substance Abuse Treatment Groups

There are two main kinds of psychotherapy in addiction treatment: group therapy and individual counseling. Individual therapy involves one client working together with one therapist, whether it’s a psychologist, social worker, or a counselor. This professional provides tailored services to the individual and addresses their addiction by examining their comorbidities, family history, genetics, environmental factors, and more. Together, a client and therapist will identify the root causes of an addiction and develop strategies that facilitate recovery.

A group therapy session is facilitated by a professional but involves a peer-to-peer approach. By discussing issues together in a group setting, peers often experience positive emotional effects that aid in the recovery process.

Group Addiction Therapy helps Recovery Ideas to Set In

It is harder to apply a solution into your own life than it is to see how solutions are applied to other people’s lives. In a group, it is easier to look at things objectively and see the solution. Think of when you talk to your friends about making a big decision in your life. Sometimes you need to hear the feedback from those friends before you are convinced that you are making a right or wrong decision. The same rationale applies to dealing with the details of your addiction, triggers, and recovery.

Both individual and group therapy can prove to be beneficial to the recovery process, and the best addiction treatment programs offer a combination of both. However, group therapy has some notable advantages for those recovering from addiction.

Addiction Recovery Companionship

People who struggle with addiction often experience isolation and profound loneliness. Since lack of social support can be a precursor to the disorder, it’s not uncommon to feel cut off from others. Even those who have a vast network of loved ones may feel alone because they do not want to share their struggle with others. This creates a vicious cycle of shame, loneliness, and self-medication with a substance of choice.

One of the main advantages of group therapy is that individuals come together and discover that they’re not alone. They find that others understand their struggles – simply because they experience the same feelings, too. This discovery is often very valuable to a person who is struggling with addiction, as they finally have a place to share feelings and gain support. The relationships a client gains in group therapy often continue long after the therapy sessions are over, and can be invaluable in times of temptation and to prevent relapse.

A Different Perspective on Recovery

Individuals you meet in group therapy can provide a valuable source of insight. It can be difficult to work through an emotional problem, simply because the person experiencing it is too close to gain perspective. Talking through emotional issues with peers who understand the struggles inherent in addiction can lead to solutions that a person may have never considered on their own. Best of all, clients have the opportunity to work through these problems without judgment or fear of reprisal. Sometimes, a different perspective can make the difference between continuing on the road to recovery and relapse.

Group Therapy Helps Communication 

Many addiction group therapy exercises center on the idea that everyone should have a healthy outlet in which they can express their ideas, hopes, dreams, failures, and fears. In a group setting, many find that their fears and hopes are similar. The person speaking to the group has the benefit of putting these feelings out in the open, but the listeners gain something valuable, as well. By listening to others in group therapy, every participant learns that isolation and negative consequences persist in everyone struggling with addiction, not just them. By communicating about these issues, each member involved in group therapy gets to experience positive changes that can prevent relapse later.

Addiction Recovery Responsibility and Accountability 

Lastly, group therapy imbues each participant with a sense of accountability. In fact, many groups naturally adopt the stance that they are stronger together than they are alone. As a result, each member in a group feels responsible for one another. This sense of mutual responsibility can prove to be invaluable, especially when one member of the group feels prone to relapse or is experiencing a moment of temptation in the course of his or her recovery.

Accountability is also important because sometimes an individual confronted with the temptation will go to greater lengths to avoid letting down the peers in their group than they would otherwise.

The Importance Of Tailored Interventions

Peer interaction, whether through alcoholism group therapy or for any substance or process addiction disorder, can prove to be a key aspect in a person’s recovery. Though group therapy has many advantages, finding the right combination of techniques for each individual is just as important. The best substance use disorder treatment plans involve unique interventions that address the factors underlying the addiction, itself. Since addiction often has many factors – from genetic to environmental, family history to the presence of childhood trauma – addressing the problem holistically is important. It is also essential to address any co-occurring mental health conditions to promote recovery.

Harmony Place helps clients get on the road to recovery by utilizing multiple tools to fight addiction, including group therapy. We combine both scientific and holistic/complementary techniques to help each client understand the basis for their addiction and address it on multiple levels. By using techniques like group and individual therapy, clients help gain valuable tools like communication, accountability, and the notion that they’re not alone in this fight.

We believe that group therapy is one of the most important tools in the fight against addiction. Our clients find in a group setting that they gain insight into their problems and they make friends that last a lifetime – an essential aspect of preventing relapse. If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction, talk to us and get the support you need to get on the road to recovery.

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