Substance abuse treatment might include group therapy sessions.
Many individuals do not enjoy group therapy, as they think they cannot share problems openly and confidentially. Others may not like talking about intimate issues in front of others. There are advantages to group therapy that often cannot be found in other types of treatment.
Group therapy is a treatment model used in many inpatient and outpatient settings. The reason for this is cohesiveness. This means that as a group, you share stories and help each other, which builds unity and togetherness. You also learn to listen and learn to develop empathy.
Effective listening skills and understanding what others are going through are good for your recovery. Group therapy also provides insight into your own problems. You may be listening to a member talk about their issue and you could see yourself behaving in the same manner. If the person speaking found resolution from the issue, you could try a few of the suggestions for yourself.
If you are having difficulty feeling comfortable in a group setting, talk to a professional counselor. There could be other issues at play such as social anxiety disorder. It is important that you feel comfortable and to look for the right group for your specific issues. Inpatient treatment programs may require that you attend group therapy sessions, therefore, you cannot opt out of participation, although many treatment centers will only include you in group sessions when you are ready.
Many experience the “you too” effect in group therapy. You may be listening to someone who shares a difficult relationship experience. You have had similar issues and are glad that you are not alone in this experience. You can seek to learn from others. Sharing experiences with others can provide you with a sounding board. When you have a problem, you are not objective about the issue as it concerns you. Others in the group can be more objective, as they are not involved. You can get a greater perspective from the group, which may help you with the problem.
Groups also promote social skills. If you are in recovery for a substance use disorder, then you probably need some help with social skills. The group will allow you the opportunity to practice engaging with other people again outside of your drug and alcohol using relationships. Group therapy also allows you to see yourself through someone else’s eyes.
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