A variety of treatment plans exist for people who have developed an addiction. Group therapy is one that has survived through the ages. It's an essential ingredient in recovery that one should not ignore, and here's why:
Tearing Down Walls and Defenses
As Safe Harbor states, “There’s a long process to recovery, and it begins with admission.” Group therapy is environmentally pleasing because it tears down walls of defenses that people usually have up when they first go for treatment. It lets such people know that everyone in the room is human, and they are all going to be talking about and discussing some of the same struggles and challenges. This kind of treatment creates an environment of compassion and empathy, as well. Not everyone in a rehab facility will want to talk the first time he enters a group therapy session. Some people will want to observe a few meetings first. Eventually, though, a feeling of closeness and trust will develop.
Therapy Helps People to Develop Tools to Succeed
Therapy sessions create discussions about success tools. People talk about strategies that they used to overcome certain things in their pasts, and they share those strategies with their peers. The peers sometimes ingest the information and then use those tools in their own lives.
Groups Help Motivate and Inspire
Just seeing a group of people with the same goal is uplifting. Therapy groups motivate all members to push toward the mark of healing. If one person falls or has a bad day, another person in the group can provide that person with encouragement and strength. Successful individuals who have maintained their sobriety will inspire others to get to that point and stay there. Your therapy group can also help you recognize and be grateful for the progress that you are making. It is easy to become bitter about how long it is taking or the problems you are dealing with, but your group can help you refocus on the good things in your life. Gratitude is an amazing motivator, and it can’t exist in the same place as bitterness and anger.
According to Naturalism.com “Accountability remains an essential tool in achieving sobriety… Accountability should be compassionate, since the addict’s behavior (indeed, all behavior), is fully a function of internal and external conditions.”
Many new friendships develop between people in group therapy situations. Those friendships can last way beyond the treatment period. Friendships that develop during addiction recovery programs can become supportive relationships in which two people try to help each other to prevent relapse. Group sessions have quite a few positive aspects. Thus, no recovery facility should fail to have it as a part of its menu of services. It's paramount to recovery, and it's an excellent relapse prevention tool.
Addiction counseling can be your first line of defense against relapse. But when fighting this uphill battle, you need as many people in your corner as possible. Nothing is quite as healthy as having a group of peers that one can talk to honestly about addiction. The brothers and sisters in recovery can become a powerful force of positivity and encouragement.