One of the reasons people begin experimenting with alcohol and drugs is to overcome feelings of anxiety in group settings. When that experimental use develops into issues with addiction, professional help can greatly increase your chances of recovery.
Unfortunately, it seems like nearly every treatment program out there wants to put you in a group to talk about issues you’ve been avoiding for a long time. At first, group therapy may be a complete breaking point for you. After all, you don’t need complete strangers learning about your life and struggles.
Before You Say No…
But before you say no, you should consider the benefits of group therapy. While it may be daunting, group therapy benefits everyone who participates—particularly those struggling with issues like addiction and co-occurring disorders like depression, anxiety and PTSD.
Group Therapy Helps You Identify the Shared Struggle
When you’re trying to heal from the disease of addiction, you might experience feelings of isolation. Group therapy exposes you to people who are going through the same things you are.
You don’t have to feel like you’re alone. Those around you can identify with the cravings, guilt, shame, anger, sadness and other intense experiences you’re having. Your combined perspectives can open up new ways to deal with these feelings and recover.
Group Therapy Offers Shoulders to Lean On
Regardless of the level of support you might be receiving from family and friends, there can be a fear of judgment or a lack of understanding when you try to share with them.
One of the advantages of group therapy is that it provides you with a support group who understands where you’re coming from. Working together to overcome your shared condition can build confidence and keep your recovery moving in the right direction.
For those who are also dealing with dual diagnosis disorder like anxiety, depression, complex trauma, or PTSD, it’s especially important to have peers you can lean on for stability, guidance and support. These are some of the advantages of group counseling that can help you recover on multiple fronts.
Group Therapy Opens the Lines of Communication
Because everyone participating in group therapy has agreed to keep everything confidential, you can start opening up about your experiences with addiction without having to worry about who will find out or what others might think. This neutral, open discourse can bring multiple perspectives to the table, boost self-esteem among members and encourage those who might be reluctant to share initially.
An overall improvement in social skills can be another of group therapy’s advantages. As you move on from your treatment program, you may find you’re more capable of sharing your feelings with others. The lessons you learn about communication apply to normal everyday life beyond these group sessions, which can help you maintain your recovery and sobriety.
Disadvantages of Group Therapy
With everything though, there are always disadvantages. With group therapy, you are not the sole focus of attention and oftentimes your deepest feelings can go unheard. Also, it’s a little more challenging to keep things confidential within a group setting. While most group therapy sessions are kept small, you’re in a position to share your most private thoughts, feelings and secrets to people you don’t know and may not be completely comfortable with.
With individual therapy, there is always going to be a more personalized and private experience. You are the sole focus of every session and it is designed to work around your schedule, your needs and your specific issues. In certain circumstances, nothing can beat the one-on-one attention.
Both methods of therapy have advantages and disadvantages, and the best rehab facilities typically offer a combination of therapy methods to ensure each client gets a 360-degree approach to recovery.
Heal from Addiction at Footprints Beachside Recovery
You’re not in this fight alone. The compassionate, knowledgeable staff at Footprints Beachside Recovery is invested in helping you overcome addiction. Your treatment program will be customized to meet your individual needs to give you the best chance at recovery. We have group sessions for men and women that includes individual counseling, recreational therapy and other therapeutic methods to treat addiction holistically.
Begin the healing process by retaking control of your life. Contact us today.