Group therapy can be an incredibly effective tool to help individuals successfully combat their substance abuse disorders. The sense of community that can form within a cohort allows many members to feel more engaged in the healing process, allowing them to learn from others’ experiences within a safe, secure space. At Clearhaven Recovery, our program participants become members of peer groups, allowing them to share common personal experiences. Call our team at 833.970.2054 to learn more about the power of a group therapy program to transform your life.
What Are the Benefits of Participating in a Group Therapy Program?
There are many considerable benefits to a group therapy approach. Individuals in recovery often feel isolated and alone and are unaware of others enduring the same stressors. Group sessions allow these participants to connect with others facing similar struggles, allowing them to be inspired by (or inspire) others depending on their needs on a given day.
Group therapy sessions allow specific, common issues to be approached from several different angles, including how various social, cultural, and domestic factors contributed to their substance abuse. In addition, therapy groups can form the backbone of a participant’s support system during their aftercare.
As with all new endeavors, learning to maximize your experience in a group therapy session will require some trial and error. However, here are some suggestions to bear in mind as you become acclimated to the rhythms of your new community:
Guidelines for a Productive Group Therapy Session
Trust the process. It likely won’t feel natural opening up your inner thoughts and feelings to a group at first, nor will this be an expectation for your membership. Trust the group leader’s guidance, and take baby steps towards active engagement in the group. On the first day, it may be plenty to simply introduce yourself and observe others in various stages of healing.
Do your best to practice mindfulness. Try to be observant of all your feelings and physical sensations. For example, when certain topics arise, do you feel your stomach begin to churn or muscles tense up? When a group member cries or laughs, do you tend to echo their response? You don’t necessarily need to know what these signs mean at first. Being observant will allow you to make faster, more profound connections between your experiences and the experiences of others.
Make small behavioral goals for each day. If you tend to listen more than you talk, challenge yourself to volunteer at least one observation at the next meeting. If you tend to speak at the expense of listening attentively, you might opt to limit the number of times you dominate the conversation.
Practice forming constructive feedback. Often, learning how to administer (and to receive) feedback is a practiced skill. Do not be afraid to lend your candid thoughts, but make sure to be as specific and straightforward as possible.
Allow emotional responses to the surface, and let them go. It’s not uncommon that you might find yourself suddenly feeling acutely sad, happy, angry, etc., in a group setting. Rather than withdraw from the group, be honest with these sentiments. As you continue to attend sessions, you’ll likely see other group members have similar “breakthrough” days.
Learn More About Our Group Therapy Program at Clearhaven Recovery
If you are battling with a substance use disorder, you are not alone. Help is available today. No matter how scared or confused you may feel, Clearhaven Recovery can help you locate your bearings and coach you through the next steps in achieving permanent recovery. Call our team at 833.970.2054 for more information, and begin your own journey towards healing today.