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Benefits of Group Therapy For Substance Abuse

People instinctively gather together a form communities that provide support and promote growth. It’s been proven that group therapy provides encouragement and guidance that benefits an individual’s mental health and world-view. For this reason, it’s only natural to include group therapy for substance abuse rehabilitation.

Does Group Therapy Help In Recovery?

Group therapy for substance abuse offers a safe, controlled ecosystem to mirror healthy, sober communities outside of rehab. As a result, group therapy introduces a constructive example of how positive encouragement and empathy can benefit their recovery. 

Group therapists understand the important role societal influences play in addiction and recovery. In fact, the experiences we encounter while in group settings shaped our behaviors. Growing up in society, various groups impact the formation of our behavior, physical health, mental health, and self-image. While the wrong groups come negative influence, addiction therapy gifts guests with a stable environment to develop sensitivity and support. As such, group therapy for substance abuse is an incredible resource as peers positively influence each other’s perspective on recovery. 

In group therapy for substance abuse, there are many styles and techniques based on addiction-sensitive practices. 

Group Therapy Topics:

  • Death of a Loved One
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Mood Disorders
  • Eating Disorders
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Relapse Prevention

While certain topics may seem unrelated to addiction recovery, trauma, grief, shame, and mental health all contribute to addictive behaviors. For this reason, discussions in group therapy promote healing and growth necessary for a complete recovery. Once you have uncovered the reason for your addiction, you learn to repair and reclaim your life. 

What Are The Benefits?

Primarily, group therapy for substance abuse employs cognitive behavioral therapy techniques alongside addiction-sensitive practices. Therapists guide a group session, providing topics and speakers within the group to promote a positive and productive atmosphere. As a guest maneuvers through their time in group therapy, they experience the many benefits provided in the group setting.

Benefits of Group Therapy:

  • Reduces physical and emotional isolation
  • Witnessing recovery first-hand
  • Decreases negative emotions (depression, guilt, shame, resentment)
  • Promotes judgment-free conversations with fellow recoverers
  • Offers a multitude of prospectives
  • Empathetic environment
  • Problem-resolution brainstorming 
  • Relating to others in similar circumstances
  • Offers a sense of community and builds relationships
  • Provides support and guidance during times of doubt or pain
  • Positive peer persuasion and reinforcement
  • Encourages self-expression and creativity
  • Develops new social skills and reduces social anxiety
  • Aids in identifying and processing trauma
  • Teaches relapse prevention and coping skills

Here, Royal Life Detox’s cognitive-behavioral therapists inspire guests to share their fears, doubts, aspirations, and goals for recovery. Group therapy for substance abuse encourages guests to express themselves honestly in order to ascertain the root of their addiction. Additionally, therapists offer advice for the group regarding ways to alter their perspectives and actions to promote recovery. 

As the group works together to find solutions for individual problems, they gain insight into other experiences outside their own. Group therapy for substance abuse helps guests understand themselves better and implement ways to promote recovery and prevent relapse. 

Is There A Down-Side?

Although group therapy for substance abuse is integral to achieve an authentic recovery, some people are hesitant to join. Typically, the reluctance to participate in group therapy stems from a negative experience in the past.

A common belief in early recovery is that individual therapy a better alternative for addiction recovery. While individual therapy is vital to the recovery process, it can’t provide the same benefits offered in group therapy. 

Another issue people have with group therapy is the fear of judgment. This typically stems from one of two things. Many people are conditioned to believe they’re to blame for past behavior due to past treatment by loved ones. Additionally, people who start an addiction to soothe an anxiety disorder may find a group setting stressful. In fact, their anxiety is often amplified without the substance they previously abused to calm themselves.

During the initial weeks in drug and alcohol rehab, guests are typically nervous and too busy acclimating themselves to the new environment to speak up in group therapy. However, this behavior is completely normal, and even beneficial to the recovery process if and when it occurs. In fact, while the new guest remains quiet, they are able to take in the give-and-take while absorbing positive reinforcement in group therapy for substance abuse.

Group Therapy’s Effects On Addiction Recovery

Regardless of the individual’s recovery outlook— whether they have entered treatment with positive determination or cynical apathy— group therapy for substance abuse slowly works toward influencing their beliefs, supporting positivity, and removing cynicism.

Group therapy, alongside individual therapy, medical detox, and a full continuum of care within drug and alcohol rehab, provides you with the tools you need to recover from addiction.

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