In addition to individual therapy, group therapy is an extremely important and effective type of therapy which greatly benefits those recovering from addiction. Because humans are naturally social beings, group therapy can be very useful for those struggling with addiction in finding connections with others and feeling that they are not alone in their struggles. Through combining the approaches of individual therapy with those of group therapy, people are able to have the best chance at making a healthy and smooth recovery.
Although individual therapy is very helpful, group therapy really helps people find that stronger connection. Dealing with alcohol or drug addiction can feel very isolating. Even if family members or friends are there to support you, they may not fully understand what you are going through unless they have dealt with addiction themselves. For this reason, in particular, group therapy aims to give recovering addicts a support network. Having this type of support network helps to greatly reduce feelings of isolation, offers a positive peer group, and creates a safe “family” environment. Group therapy not only allows recovering addicts to help themselves but also to help others at the same time.
Process Group Therapy
Process group therapy (also known as didactic group therapy) is a particular type of group therapy which helps addicts come out of isolation and practice their sobriety in a community setting. Process groups help people build relationships with others who are struggling with similar issues which really helps those who may be feeling alone or misunderstood. These groups allow them to share their thoughts and behaviors. Some activities that may be included in process groups are meditation and relaxation, anger management strategies, addiction education, and cognitive behavioral therapy.
There are various types of process groups, including stress management groups, relapse prevention groups, interpersonal skills groups, self-realization groups, and life skills groups. Each of these process groups works in a particular area in helping addicts through their recovery process. Stress management groups focus on building more constructive ways to use your time and healthier outlets for dealing with stressful situations. This could include incorporating mindfulness and meditation techniques or starting an exercise regime. Relapse prevention groups focus on helping people stay sober through awareness of triggers, avoidance of trigger situations, and development of problem-solving skills. Life story therapy allows recovering addicts to write about and share their stories with the group. Talking about some of these deep struggles can be very empowering in helping people move past and make peace with them. Interpersonal skills groups help to bring about more positive behavior for personal connection and help guide addicts through family, work and social situations. These groups also teach addicts refusal techniques. Lastly, self-realization groups help addicts learn to identify themselves as separate from their addiction and fully embrace their recovery process and post-recovery life.
Overall, these process groups focus on all of these distinct but equally important areas. They also really help in the addiction recovery process by educating people on substance abuse and the negative consequences that it can have. Through working together with peers, people are able to improve their social skills, get more feedback on some of their issues they are dealing with, and learn to cope in healthier ways. By communicating with others, individuals struggling with addiction may be able to understand themselves in a new light and see different perspectives on their issues and their own conflicts.
Addiction Recovery Benefits
Process group therapy has been proven to be highly effective in addiction recovery treatment. There are numerous benefits to this type of therapy. One major benefit is that through hearing feedback from their peers, those in recovery are able to learn about themselves more and increase their self-awareness. Just as with anything in life, communicating problems with others and hearing their thoughts and opinions is very useful in resolving or dealing with those problems. This process can help others recognize some of their own thought patterns and behaviors that they may not have previously been aware. People can find support from those with the same conflicts and can relate to others not just in terms of the addiction itself but also with the thought patterns that led to it in the first place. Also, when working with others and focusing on setting goals, people are more likely to stick with their plans because of the sense of accountability that the group dynamic creates. Ultimately, this benefits everyone in the group and helps them unite in their journeys of healthy recovery.
The group dynamic that process groups utilize helps create an external social group, a sense of commitment, and a group of caring and supportive people. Working in a group can also help you to try out and experiment with new behaviors and ways of thinking. It gives you the opportunity to see new perspectives and to also see that you are not alone in the ways you may be thinking or in the internal conflicts you may have. There are also opportunities to join 12-step groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. These groups are generally free and are very commonly held in several locations near you. A great thing about these groups is the community feeling they bring and the overall sense of care and non-judgment.
All in all, in dealing with any kind of struggle in life it is important to have others to help support you and encourage you to grow stronger. Having a community or “family” is very important in helping keep us sane and emotionally healthy. That community is particularly beneficial in addiction recovery because people may not always have a close family, or if they do, they may not truly understand what their recovery process is like. The community feeling and support created from process groups is a very powerful and beneficial tool in the recovery process. Recovering individuals are able to work together to not only help themselves but to help build each other up and encourage one another to make the most positive decisions for themselves. Contact us today for more information on process group therapy options.