When many people think about addiction treatment, the first thing they think of is group therapy. Group therapy is a regular session of a small group, usually a dozen or fewer, moderated by a therapist or counsellor. They discuss issues, ask questions, and give each other feedback. Some people are understandably nervous about group therapy sessions, especially if they have never been to one. The idea of sharing your problems with a group can be daunting. However, there are good reasons why group therapy is so central to addiction treatment, including the following.
You realize you’re not alone.
Perhaps the most important aspect of group therapy is that you quickly learn you’re not alone. Many people struggling with addiction or mental illness feel a lot of shame related to both addiction and to other things that have happened in their lives. They may have done things they were ashamed of while addicted or they may have been ashamed of the addiction itself. What’s more, many people who develop substance use disorders were victims of physical abuse, sexual abuse, or sexual assault, for which they may feel intense shame. Everyone wants to hide what he’s ashamed of but the point of group therapy is to stop hiding. Once people start sharing their experiences in a safe environment, they typically see they aren’t alone in their pain and there is, in fact, nothing to be ashamed of. This often relieves people of a burden they’ve carried for years.
You improve your communication skills.
Group therapy is an excellent place to improve your communication skills. You may find yourself having to explain emotions that you don’t really have the words for, or perhaps trying to understand someone else as he struggles to explain something. You learn to be a supportive listener as well as learning to better articulate your own emotions. You also learn to give and receive feedback. These are valuable skills most people never learn. Getting feedback is a great source of information about ourselves but it can sometimes be hard to hear. Giving feedback helps out your group members and it’s good practice in being honest while respecting others’ feelings. Better communication skills improve all your relationships and generally make life go more smoothly.
You find a sense of connection.
Feeling a sense of connection to others is one of the best predictors of a strong recovery. People get into trouble when they feel isolated, lonely, and afraid to reach out. People often develop a strong sense of connection to their groups. You share your problems with each other, you listen to each other, and you support each other. That tends to bring you together. Feeling that sense of connection and support makes you feel happier and less anxious. You know people want you to succeed and it helps get you through tough times.
At Alta Lama Transformational Services, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms. Alta Lama uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, where you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan. We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit, so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 866-457-3843.