What is Group Therapy?
Group Therapy is described as a type of therapy where one or more therapist will work with several people at the same time, often with a central theme. There are specific benefits to group therapy, especially during the early recovery process and when in treatment.
Reasons Why Group Therapy Benefits People in Recovery
A central leader in the practice and principles of group therapy was introduced into the mainstream by Dr. Irvin Yalom when he wrote the first edition of The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy in 1975. It has subsequently been a textbook for many degrees in prominent schools throughout the world. In this book, the author denotes that there are key elements to the group therapy process such as:
To instill hope.
This concept is especially important to alcoholics and addicts because of the “roller-coaster” nature of the disease itself. People who are new in recovery need hope to connect to others and get out of the downward spiral of addiction which continues depression.
Commonality by sharing information.
Understanding and sharing similar experiences of addiction is often beneficial. Sometimes there are those people who have never been able to tell their “story” or feel too ashamed to do so. When someone is in recovery and hears another explain feelings and experiences that they might not have ever heard before, it can be a powerful insight into their own healing. In turn, people in recovery often have bottled up emotions of shame and guilt. By sharing information with other addicts, this can be a huge stress reliever.
When a group member offers hope by sharing their strengths, it can boost other group members self-confidence and the ability to change their perspective about their self, creating better self-esteem.
Creating a new family dynamic.
Group therapy is different than Family therapy, but groups can model families in ways of how we interact. According to Psychology Today, each group therapy member in recovery can then experience insight on how they might be replaying behaviors, which in turn can help group members avoid negative behaviors and build on positive ones. People in recovery often find that there are underlying issues from childhood which influence their present actions.
Developing correct social skills.
Being in group therapy in recovery is a great place to practice communication skills with others. It is a safe place, where group members can experiment with how they use language and what they express without as much fear as family groups.
Observing healthy interaction.
By observing a group therapist in how they conduct conflict or upsetting interactions, the group therapy member in recovery can in turn model that behavior.
Acceptance of others.
By sharing and being honest with others will create trust and acceptance in the group. There are often rules that are laid out in group therapy that whatever is said in group will stay in group. Being a part of and keeping an individual from isolating is an essential factor in recovery.
Group therapy can be as small as 2 people, though the standard in treatment is 4-6. Having others that are on the same level and going through similar experiences is a beneficial part of the recovery process.
Most recovery centers offer group therapy and understand its value for the individual. Here at Carus Recovery, we are no exception and strive to create exciting and informative group therapy sessions. If you would like to learn more about the specific types of groups we run or to talk about yourself or a loved one who needs help, contact us online at 877-225-7724.