Group therapy forms the basis for mutual support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. Here at Fenton House, we believe in the principles used by such groups. We understand that sessions can be hugely successful in terms of addiction recovery and sobriety maintenance. As such, peer-to-peer sessions form a huge part of our treatment programmes.
It is a type of psychotherapeutic treatment used in addiction recovery. The idea that humans tend to congregate in groups led to the idea for group therapy, and it has proved to be a successful tool in terms of treating addiction.
As part of your bespoke treatment plan for addiction recovery, you can expect group sessions to play a significant role. Experts know that coming together with a group of other people who are also recovering from addiction can be powerful insofar as learning from each other is concerned. Witnessing how others are progressing can be motivation in and of itself, and meeting regularly with others is a wonderful way to reduce isolation, which is quite common in addiction.
Group therapy typically involves regular counselling sessions with, as mentioned, a group of other recovering addicts and one or more counsellors or therapists.
Group therapy is an essential tool when it comes to overcoming addiction, but it is typically used in conjunction with other treatments such as individual counselling as well as holistic therapies. The idea is that it helps to encourage you to share your stories and experiences within a group setting so that you can learn more about yourself, others, and the world beyond.
Being able to interact with other individuals who are learning how to cope with and overcome a drug or alcohol addiction can be quite helpful for those who are beginning the process. This type of setting also helps members realise that they are not alone and allows them to share information and experiences with one another, which can help boost confidence and self-esteem. Overall, sharing experiences and feelings has been shown to reduce stress, guilt and pain among group therapy members.
The atmosphere is relaxed and comfortable and you will be encouraged to engage in honest open discussions with your peers. You will be urged to offer opinions and suggestions to other patients, while at the same time accepting the suggestions of others in relation to your own issues.
One of the remarkable things about group therapy is that it has proven time and again to be successful in terms of inspiring patients to recover through learning from the mistakes of others and by providing support and motivation to succeed. In this group setting, patients will nurture each other and will reinforce good behaviours with the goal of permanent recovery in mind.
Group therapy sessions offer many benefits. For example, when you receive counselling in a group setting, you will learn how to interact with others, something that you may have forgotten over time. The nature of addiction is that it is a very isolating illness, and this can lead many addicts to become poor communicators. One of the aims is to rectify this.
Another huge benefit is the fact that it allows you to see that you are not alone. You have probably suffered from loneliness for some time and you may have felt as if no one understood what you were going through.
Addiction is an illness that is often misunderstood, and those who have no experience of it usually cannot comprehend why addicts continue to abuse chemical substances when doing so is causing such obvious harm. You may have been told by well-meaning loved ones that you should ‘just stop’ using alcohol or drugs in order to sort your life out. However, you know that this is much easier said than done.
During group therapy, you will meet others who have been through similar situations to yours. They will understand exactly what you are going through and you will finally have others that you can relate to. You will also learn from these individuals and their own experiences and stories. Through sharing, you can all learn how to avoid destructive behaviours as well as learn how to develop new positive thought patterns and behaviours.
Each clinic uses different methods during group therapy sessions to encourage the group to speak out. You may feel a bit nervous before your first session, which is entirely natural. Most people do not feel comfortable speaking in front of others, particularly those whom they have just met.
Here at Fenton House, we understand that you will be apprehensive and that you might find the whole idea of a group setting to be intimidating at first. Let us assure you that you are unlikely to be alone in feeling this way. We find that most people are unsure of what to expect from group therapy, but let us also assure you that you will quickly become at ease with this type of counselling. Moreover, once you are feeling more comfortable, you will be more likely to want to share your thoughts and feelings with the group.
Knowing what to expect may help you to relax during your first group session. Below are a few examples of the types of activities that might be used; the ones that are used will depend on the counsellor who is leading the session and the dynamic of the group: