Group treatment can be beneficial for several reasons, including being cost effective and providing positive peer support and feedback for managing triggers and staying sober. Most inpatient and outpatient facilities as well as some private therapists utilize group therapy in addition to individual therapy sessions.
Group therapy is when a number of people who have similar issues are brought together within the confines of a save and controlled therapeutic atmosphere where they are able to discuss challenges that are common to the group.
The goal of group therapy is to allow participants to gain a deeper understanding of their disorder and at the same time giving support to others in the group.
Some of the benefits of group therapy include:
- Addiction is called a “lonely disease,” because substance abusers often feel lonely and cut off from other people, especially from their loved ones. In a group setting, they realize that they are not alone. They learn that there are others who understand their struggles because they share them. This helps them draw strength and inspiration from others when they feel overwhelmed by the desire to resume alcohol or drug use.
- People suffering from addiction often have no one they can talk to about it and thus have no healthy outlet to vent their frustrations. In a group of peers, they find that they can speak openly about their problems.
- It’s not uncommon for someone to be unable to find a solution to a problem because they are too close to it, too emotionally involved. Talking about it and asking for feedback can shed a new light on the problem and provide new perspectives that they might have never thought of on their own.
- One of the things people learn when attending group therapy sessions is that they are stronger together with their peers than they are alone. A mentality of “we’re all in this together” forms and each person feels responsible for the other. This mutual responsibility is invaluable, because whenever one of them is in trouble and feels they are on the brink of relapse, they know that they can call on any of their peers to help out.