5 Benefits of Group Therapy in Addiction Treatment
Addiction is a complex condition with roots in every aspect of a person’s life. When you decide to get treatment, it’s crucial to find a comprehensive program that can address the physical, emotional, and behavioral aspects of your addiction. You must learn and practice new skills that will help you manage the symptoms of addiction and avoid relapse for the rest of your life.
Group therapy is an essential part of a comprehensive treatment plan. The idea of opening up in a group setting may feel uncomfortable for some, but there are so many benefits of group therapy in addiction treatment that no treatment plan would be complete without it.
Understanding what to expect during treatment and understanding the benefits of each stage may help you stay committed to following your program–even when recovery feels challenging.
What is Group Therapy?
Group therapy is an essential part of addiction treatment. A therapist works with a small number of people on a regular basis to identify goals, learn skills, process emotions, and other essential aspects of therapy.
People in a therapy group often have similar goals or milestones and work within the same therapeutic approach. Group therapy in addiction treatment works to complement other therapeutic aspects of the treatment plan, including individual therapy, family therapy, mental and medical care, and education.
Participating in group therapy allows people to benefit from a community of peers and the guidance of a caring, knowledgeable therapist. It gives people a safe, supportive place to process uncomfortable emotions around addiction and recovery and allows them to practice the skills they’ve learned in recovery.
5 Benefits of Group Therapy in Addiction Treatment
People in recovery from addiction may have different lives and experiences, but they often share similar struggles and feelings about their journeys with addiction. Incorporating group therapy into recovery gives people a safe place to connect with others and work through thoughts and feelings about their substance use.
Here are five other benefits of using group therapy in addiction treatment.
1. Realizing you are not alone
Addiction is often isolating. While in the midst of an addiction, people often exclude other people and activities in favor of their drug of choice until they are alone–or surrounded only by other addicted people. When people stop using drugs and alcohol, they may realize they don’t have the supportive relationships they once had. For many, recovery feels lonely.
Group therapy connects you to other people who have lived through similar experiences. The vulnerability that goes along with group therapy can create strong bonds between people. Many form friendships that last a lifetime–and these friendships can support lifelong sobriety.
2. The benefit of others’ experiences
Hearing other people’s stories and perspectives can give you new insights into your own life and behaviors. Hearing other people talk about their thoughts, actions, and behaviors may help you understand addiction as a disease and help you let go of guilt, anger, or sadness.
It can also be helpful to see people at different stages of recovery and learn what worked well for them along the way. You may become an example to others, too. The safe setting of group therapy allows you to practice your communication skills, which can improve your other relationships.
3. Holding you accountable
Participating in group therapy in addiction treatment means that you are no longer an island. Your therapy group members and therapist will know if you haven’t been following your treatment plan and can hold you accountable. This can help you stay focused on making progress and staying committed to your recovery, even when it feels difficult.
4. A non-judgmental atmosphere
People without experience with addiction and recovery may not always be able to offer the same non-judgmental listening ear that people in recovery can. It’s essential to have a safe place to process your feelings about your addiction–and that means feeling comfortable enough to be vulnerable and completely honest.
In a group therapy setting, you will have a therapist and peers who will accept and listen to you without judgment. You will be allowed to talk about your experiences without fear of being shamed or judged.
5. Regular support from a therapist
People in recovery require ongoing, regular professional support to maintain the skills they’ve learned in addiction treatment, process new feelings, and manage challenges without relapsing. In group therapy, you will form a connection with a compassionate therapist who can give you the guidance and support you need to thrive in recovery. Your therapist can connect you to other community resources, refer you to treatment programs, and give you active, meaningful support as you work toward new goals.
Find Help Now
You don’t have to manage addiction or recovery on your own. Reach out to the caring specialists at South Carolina Addiction Treatment today for information on starting one of our comprehensive treatment programs.
Medically Reviewed: August 15, 2022
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.