Building A Sober Network: Why Group Therapy Is A Vital Part Of Success

Group therapy is a crucial component of addiction recovery. Enrolling in a drug and alcohol rehab program is a wonderful accomplishment and a courageous first step toward long-term recovery. If you are going to commit to the journey of rehabilitation, you need to carefully identify the thoughts and emotions that trigger your substance abuse, change your habits, and find new, healthier ways to cope with difficulties. For some, the mere idea of group therapy in addiction recovery might be unnerving in the beginning, but sharing your experiences with other like-minded individuals can help you stay clean and support your efforts to create the life you have always been working towards. Today, North Jersey Rehabs will detail the importance of building a sober network and why group therapy is a vital part of success.

What Is Group Therapy?

Group therapy denotes a form of counseling used to treat psychological disorders such as substance abuse and addiction. Unlike individual counseling, group therapy usually involves a therapist and 2 or more individuals at the same time. During these sessions, individuals will take turns talking about their deeply rooted struggles, feelings, experiences, and goals. Group therapy in addiction recovery will typically cover the following topics:

  • Recognizing and avoiding triggers
  • Handling difficult family members and peers
  • Resolving conflict in your interpersonal relationships
  • Coping with common and unexpected stressors
  • Managing emotions effectively

Benefits Of Therapy in a Group Setting

We won’t lie, there is a sense of awkwardness that many patients harbor, during the early days of their group counseling sessions. However, once you have grown accustomed to the process, there are many ways you can benefit from group therapy. Apart from being a safe, non-judgmental outlet to open up about your struggles, group therapy can do the following:

  • Provide a place to interact with other people, preventing loneliness and isolation in the process.
  • Showing you how to cope with and overcome drug and alcohol addiction
  • Boosting your confidence and self-esteem
  • Cutting down feelings of stress, guilt, and pain
  • Learning how to avoid destructive behaviors
  • Inspire you to look at situations and experiences from a different perspective
  • Encouraging you to engage in new, healthy behaviors
  • Help you set and accomplish goals

Even though group counselors will typically moderate discussions and provide feedback and any other additional device, participating in group therapy can provide individuals other benefits that surely include:

  • Continued support and engagement
  • Improvement in behavioral patterns
  • Diverse, flexible thinking
  • Establishing trust and understanding

What Can I Expect During Group Therapy In Addiction Recovery?

Now that we have assessed the reasons for why group counseling is beneficial, here is what you can expect during a group therapy session. Typically speaking, group counseling sessions have anywhere from 3-12 members, depending on the setting where sessions take place. Most of these groups meet once or twice a month for 1-2 hours, but can meet more often, if needed. Groups can be structured in either an open or closed manner. Open groups allow new members to join at any time, while closed groups only allow members to participate until the end of the sessions. What is often the case is these sessions take place on-site at our recovery center, closed off to the public. Whereas, other types of groups like AA, NA, and other peer support groups can be open or closed. Here are some examples of what you can expect structurally:

  • Room Setup: These meetings involve members congregating in a room where the chairs are arranged in a small circle. The circle shape may seem intimidating at first, but the setup promotes intimate connections amongst the members in attendance. Alternatively, for larger groups, the chairs may be in rows facing a platform
  • Introducing Yourself: Each session begins with members of the group introducing themselves. You aren’t put on the spotlight to overshare, but you are required to state your name and discuss your reasoning for attending the group session.
  • Facilitated Group Discussion: This is where the magic happens. The therapist decides if the meeting will be more focused on dialogue or education. Should the meeting be more dialogue-based, get ready to share. Being nervous is understandable, but everyone in attendance has similar struggles and are working towards similar goals. Be open about your fears, worries, concerns, hopes, and feelings. This is a safe space. You might even find that your story parallels with another member or members of the group.
  • Learning Aids: During the session, the therapist might use a variety of materials to help you apply what you are learning. These techniques can include visual aids, written projects, audio files, role playing, and homework.
  • Updates: As you go through the motions and attend more sessions, you will become familiar with the “update” component of group counseling. The process is simple: Share your progress and experiences since the last session. Other people in your group counseling meeting will share too. 

Why Group Therapy Is Quintessential To The Recovery Process

Group therapy is a highly efficient component of addiction recovery, because being around other people looking to get clean can help keep you motivated, challenged, inspired, supported, social, and more importantly, sober. One of the hardest parts of recovery is remaining substance-free. Thankfully, being around like-minded people in group therapy can challenge you to remain sober. Apart from individual counseling that focuses solely on you, which in itself isn’t a bad thing by any means. Group counseling takes it a step further, just from the mere fact that it is a safe space that provides an open platform for others to air their grievances. Simply hearing about someone else’s experience could be the difference maker in ensuring that you stay inspired, no, grounded in your lifelong journey of recovery.

A Community That Will Help You Thrive: North Jersey Rehabs Will Provide Group Therapy In Addiction Recovery

Here at North Jersey Rehabs, we take great pride in our patient-centric approach to treatment. We firmly disavow the idea of patients navigating the trenches on their own. Come join our close-knit, family-like sober community. We can help you get back on track and rediscover your purpose in life, without the negative influence of substance use. Contact us today to learn more!

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