Benefits of Group Therapy for Drug Addiction
Drug addiction continues to plague modern society and is increasing in the third world and developing countries as well, particularly in regions where traditional counseling is frowned upon or simply not as widely accessible. In circumstances such as these, group therapy can provide necessary help for people struggling with drug addiction.
What makes group therapy work is a combination of several factors. These include:
- Support & Collaboration
- Confidence and Leadership
So how do these work together to help struggling addicts?
Addicts are often shunned or close themselves off from the people around them. This undermines social networks and compounds feelings of hopelessness and depression. By bringing recovering addicts together, they have a sense of community and belonging as they make the long and arduous process of rebuilding their lives (and relationships in them). They are surrounded by people that do not judge them for what they’ve done and are more accepting and supportive of their desire for positive change.
Support & Collaboration
Group therapy revolves around being with people who are going through the same experience; while specific circumstances may vary, group members are all dealing with the same addiction-based issues: withdrawal, temptation, boredom, rebuilding relationships, and finding new ways to cope with problems.
By working in a group environment, recovering addicts can find the support for these worries among people who understand what they are going through and may even have solutions to these very problems; it brings together people of all stages of the recovery spectrum, which means that people further on the pathway out of addiction can provide advice to those who aren’t as far along.
Group therapy members become accountable for themselves and for each other, which helps eliminate Regression to destructive behaviors. By taking mutual responsibility for themselves and others, recovering addicts quickly learn that they are stronger as a group than as an individual, and the tighter the bonds they develop through community and support; the more likely former addicts are going to want to avoid letting down their support group.
Giving voice to the struggles associated with addiction recovery is part of any treatment, whether Individual or group, but in a group environment with fellow addicts, giving voice to their frustrations will be met with empathy in a non-judgmental environment. The struggles faced by one may be struggles faced by some or all of the others, so even by listening to the others, individuals can get tangible benefits from it. Pushing everyone to share also boosts confidence in the recovery process – knowing that they are not going through this alone, that what they are experiencing isn’t unique, can help addicts in overcoming or dealing with their problems.
Unlike traditional forms of therapy, group therapy is relatively cheaper and more accessible; many outreach programs offer group therapy sessions, as do schools, clinics, community centers and even churches. Space for group therapy can be found virtually anywhere, and what matters most is a supportive environment.
As a cheaper alternative as well, group therapy has less of a financial impact on recovering addicts.
Confidence and Leadership
The environment for group therapy is one that inspires addicts to be confident in themselves and believe in themselves, which goes a long way towards helping them overcome their addictive behaviors. More than that though, it inspires them towards leadership within the group, helping others and mentoring others. These are tangible skills that promote positives feelings of self-worth, which are also beneficial in addiction recovery.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, group therapy sessions can provide some relief. Look for local sessions or speak to people in addictions recovery for more information on sessions near you.