How Group Therapy Assists People in Rehab Treatment
Group therapy is used in congruence with other evidence based treatment at the leading rehab centers, private outpatient offices, community centers and mental health clinics. As a form of psychotherapy, the group setting invites people to address their concerns and make positive changes in life.
The Principles of Group Therapy
The practice of group therapy is used to help people with a substance addiction, mental health disorder or other form of behavioral issue. When the theory and its principals are put into practice, individuals in the group can gain a wealth of insight and personal understanding. Some of these include: An instillation of hope: Every member of the group will be in a different stage of recovery, or treatment. New members will get a firsthand look at people who have already gone through various sessions; thereby, giving them hope in the beginning.
Togetherness – Being in a group therapy setting with people who have experienced similar situations promotes a universal togetherness and an understanding that no one is alone on the path to sobriety.
Sharing information – It’s encouraged to share advice, stories or relevant information with others in the group. Through this, everyone in the session can find inspiration and learn from one another.
Improving Self Esteem – Group therapy has a tendency to boost every participating member’s self esteem and confidence in partly due to the altruistic sharing and helping of others.
Exploration of Underlying Issues – Through regular sessions, group therapy can begin to feel like another family. Working together, members can explore underlying issues which may be linked to the addiction. Childhood experiences and traumatic incidences may be thought through to see how, or if, they have been contributed to behavior or personality traits.
Development of Social Skills – A lot of people with an addiction have fears of public speaking or lack social skills they will need when sober. Group therapy is one of the most effective ways to practice social skills and behaviors without fear of judgment or failure.
Self Growth and Learning – Group therapies’ interaction with others will allow each member to give and receive various feedback associated with addiction and recovery. Whether this is from the members or therapist, it promotes further learning of the self.
Safe, Supportive and Accepting – Every person in the group session is there for the same thing and will have common goals in mind. Through this, trust is built and gained. In due time, the individuals will gain a solid sense of belonging and acceptance in a safe environment. Group Therapy During Addiction Treatment
At first glance, group therapy during rehab may look intimidating. It’s common for people to have doubts about its effectiveness and use fear as an excuse to not participate. That said, nearly all group members will be surprised about how rewarding the sessions can be. The open discussion encourages free forming thoughts for improving a situation or putting problems into perspective. It’s a safe place to talk about sensitive subjects like mental health struggles or childhood abuse. Members will quickly realize they are not alone.
Guided by a Therapist
Apart from the invaluable support from other members in the group, every session will be led by specially trained therapists who teach strategies for managing challenges or issues in life. They may have a specific topic they’d like to discuss such as grief, anger, relationship issues, mood swings, body image or relapse prevention and with that will allow the session to evolve accordingly. The therapist is there to ensure the group stays on track, that everyone feels comfortable and to answer questions that will arise. Some group therapy will incorporate music, dance, art, improvisation or writing into the sessions to further encourage self expression.
Where You Can Participate in Group Therapy Sessions
Group therapy sessions are highly effective during rehab treatment with many programmes incorporating them into the weekly schedules. However, some people may wish to continue going to group therapy after rehab. Outpatient centers and various counselling offices will host groups a few times a week. Some of these will be open to the public while others are closed sessions. If you cannot locate one of these, or are unable to afford them, Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are wonderful options which do take place in a group setting.
Human beings have a natural need to relate to others it is this which makes group therapy so conducive to addiction treatment. Ultimately group therapy members start out as strangers, but in a short amount of time, these people will become a source of trust and support where others find hope, encouragement and connection.