If you are recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction, you may question the value of participating in group therapy.
It may be difficult enough for you to seek help and open up to a single counselor or therapist, let alone bare your soul to a small group of people. You may worry that you will not have enough time to discuss your own thoughts and ideas, or agonize over having to share personal information with perfect strangers.
The truth is that your group therapy culture can be like that of the good feeling and trust between close friends. Essentially, if you feel comfortable discussing your drug or alcohol addiction with a therapist, you should also be able to discuss it in group therapy.
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Why Group Therapy Is Effective for Drug and Alcohol Addiction
Group therapy has been a core aspect of drug and alcohol addiction recovery for several decades, and it has proven to be very effective. Here are some reasons why you should consider participating in group therapy if you are in treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction:
- Being in a group therapy setting means having several other people cheer you on and help you set and achieve goals toward your drug or alcohol addiction recovery.
- Another member in your group therapy might bring up a challenge with which he or she is dealing. You might have an identical problem, only you see the problem from your own perspective. When looking at someone else’s situation, you might see your own issue in a new light. Suddenly something that was very challenging has an easy solution.
- Working in group therapy is a great way to experiment with new behaviors. You can “try out” new ways of thinking and relating in a safe environment before going out into the real world. You will also quickly abandon misleading myths that you are alone in your feelings and thoughts. It is likely that several people share your experience.
- Working with a drug and alcohol addiction group is also one of the most natural ways to overcome a problem, including an addiction. We work together with others at work and in our families. Humans are built to learn and grow in the presence of others. Why should therapy be any different?
Where to go for Group Therapy
Once you have made the decision to participate in a drug and alcohol addiction group, you may be wondering where you can find group therapy. Both outpatient treatment centers for addiction and residential treatment centers for addiction offer a full menu of groups that can address both your drug and alcohol addiction and other issues you may be dealing with.
Another place to get support is through 12-step groups offered by Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. These groups are often free and held at various locations and times so that you can find somewhere that is convenient for you.
In addition to groups that address your drug and alcohol addiction, group therapy may also include the following:
- Mood disorders
- Relationship skills
- Process groups
- Body image and nutrition groups
- Yoga therapy
- Art therapy
- Life coaching
Your therapist and addiction treatment team can help you select the group therapy that will be most effective for you in your recovery.