Drug addiction can feel isolating. Most individuals who have substance abuse disorders for alcohol, prescription medications or illegal drugs feel like no one understands what they’re going through. One of the best ways to help people realize that they’re not alone in recovery is group therapy. At Denver Recovery Center, we prioritize this type of therapy for clients to kickstart recovery.
Why Group Therapy Works for Drug Addiction Treatment Plan
You may hear the word “group” used frequently during your intake assessment. A shortened version of the words group therapy, it is one part of the program where you will gather in a small group, usually 6 to 10 people, and share experiences as part of recovery.
“But why do I need a group to help me get over MY addiction?” you might ask.
There are several reasons why groups work, but the main one is that it shows people that they aren’t alone. If you’re used to feeling isolated, hearing from peers can make you feel accepted and understood.
The beauty of group therapy is that the leader will never pressure you to speak. You’re always welcome to share or volunteer information if you’d like, but if you prefer to begin by just listening, that’s okay. You can learn a lot by listening to other people’s stories. Moreover, you’ll start discovering ways to prevent relapse in the future.
What Groups Offer Members Help In Recovery
For some, groups can feel overwhelming at first. Talking to strangers about problems in our lives isn’t something that we do every day. However, when you step into group therapy, you know that you’ll have something in common with everyone in the room — they’ve also dealt with the disease of addiction.
Counselors have different approaches to sessions based both on their style and the group, and this may evolve as the group members become more familiar with their environment, the people around them, and sharing their feelings.
When you are in substance use disorder treatment, either for alcohol or drugs, group therapy is a time to spend with other clients who share your goals for recovery. In sobriety, it is very important to surround yourself with people who have a shared purpose to keep values at the forefront.
They also are people who will not be judging you because you all understand the unique grip addiction can have, causing you to act in ways you would not even consider with a clear mind. With each person’s growth in changing past behaviors, you become champions for each other’s successes.
Group therapy helps build a strong foundation to draw from later when you are more vulnerable to old temptations. You can recall memories of activities your group participated in and draw strength from them. All your senses are engaged to others’ responses, and you might be positively triggered to recall somebody crying as they shared a similar story to yours. As a result, you can walk a little taller and stronger through the grocery store, past the aisle of alcohol you used to stop at regularly.
A major part of recovery is gaining trust from family and friends. You may have relapsed in the past because you tried alone and were in social isolation to simply stop using with no support in place. Group counseling is a place where you can be open to speaking about temptation, places you need to stay away from in the future, and friends you need to speak up to about avoiding certain environments, especially in your early phases of recovery.
Counseling often continues on an outpatient basis for an arranged window of time, where you return to the treatment center during the week and share with the group how your weekend went or speak about how to approach upcoming family events or holidays. You also typically need to do a urine screen to participate in therapy and prove you are not using substances. This is somewhat of a report card for you to show you are working on your program and keeps the trust of others in your group, so sharing can be more comfortable and honest.
Open Mind To New Techniques
A therapist often will touch on ways to show group members new coping strategies for their anxious or depressed thoughts. Oftentimes following withdrawal from a substance, people experience depression as their emotional well-being struggles to regulate their physical changes. This is a common reason for relapse, which is always a concern when a person is not in a healthy mindset.
Learning breathing techniques, meditation, journaling, or practicing how to handle a potentially stressful situation or conversation all give you more comfort and equip you to approach and react to future situations more healthily.
Working in a group can also help you come up with solutions that you wouldn’t have thought of on your own. When you ask a diverse group of people for ideas for a solution, chances are you’re going to get multiple perspectives from which to view an issue. This can help you problem-solve on your own in the future as well as figure out the dilemma in front of you now.
In addition, you can gain strength by supporting other people who share their struggles, offer helpful advice, and begin to focus on others and not just yourself.
People can’t fully heal by burying the past, ignoring behaviors, and making excuses. Processing the emotions, thoughts, and actions that arise from addiction can be exhausting but necessary in moving forward to recovery. Guilt, shame, embarrassment, confusion — all the reasons many people begin therapy — will eventually give way to some laughter, stories about the future, shared progress, and a renewed confidence that comes from closing one window to drug addiction and opening another to recovery.
Lessons Learned Through Support Groups Stay With You After Treatment
Throughout the days, months, and years — yes, it is completely possible — following treatment, you’ll find that group lessons may stick with you even more than individual counseling. This can happen for a few different reasons. First, you’ll create important, lasting relationships with your peers in group therapy. They can be a great support system to lean on for years to come in your recovery.
These individuals understand what you’ve been through and will continue to understand how difficult recovery is. Staying in touch and participating in alumni events with the people you meet during group therapy will help you stay sober.
Addiction Support Groups Denver Recovery Center
Regardless of which treatment program you choose, you’ll participate with groups as part of your individualized plan to recover from addiction. It’s an essential part of the recovery process for all the reasons stated above. However, it’s also important to make sure that you choose the correct addiction treatment program for your unique needs.
We offer the following programs at Denver Recovery Center:
- Residential treatment
- Partial hospitalization
- Intensive outpatient treatment
- Outpatient treatment
- Men’s and women’s rehab program
Evidence-Based Programs With Drug Rehab Treatment Center
During your rehab experience, in addition to group, you will also attend other types of therapy.
Some of the most common options for therapy are
- Family therapy
- Individual counseling
- Outdoor therapy
- Holistic therapy
Our master’s-level therapists will decide which combination will work best for you so you have an individualized treatment plan to position yourself for long-lasting recovery. We offer a unique approach to addiction treatment for clients that combines holistic methods with evidence-based treatment options. Denver Recovery Center’s addiction treatment program is designed just for you.
If you or your loved one are ready to begin on the path to sobriety, call Denver Recovery Center today at (844) 602-3175.
- What Is Group Therapy Used To Treat?
Group therapy is a common approach to treating many shared disorders such as gambling, weight, infidelity, and addiction. People who share a commonality can learn, feel safe, and grow through examining past mistakes and making future goals.
- What Are Two Types of Group Therapy?
Holistic activities such as yoga or meditation can be done in a group environment. Cognitive behavioral therapy is another type of program where a group leader will guide participants to delve into their thoughts they had before the action they are seeking to stop and afterward. The participants will get some direction in seeing other ways the situation could have been handled to produce healthier results.
- What Do You Talk About in Group Therapy?
Group therapy is a safe place to discuss your range of emotions, be honest about your not-so-proud-of activities, and offer support and receive advice to help you reframe your future.