Group therapy has long been a central part of addiction treatment programs. Many people find this intimidating. It’s hard to speak in front of a group and share personal things. Group therapy combines both these things, promoting the practice of vulnerability and acceptance of feedback. Some men find it especially difficult to talk about their feelings with each other, having been conditioned for the majority of their lives not to cry or show weakness, and to keep their feelings to themselves. However, there are many great reasons why group therapy has become a standard part of addiction treatment. Most people end up appreciating group therapy and find that they get a lot out of it, even if they were resistant initially. Here are some of the reasons group therapy is great for people recovering from addiction.
The Group Can Give You Diverse Feedback
First of all, group therapy is great for expanding your self-awareness, allowing for many different perspectives on your behavior and your problems. Individual therapy can offer valuable guidance but only from one perspective. Discounting what one person says is easy. It is much harder to dismiss similar feedback from multiple different sources. Although we assume we know ourselves best, everyone experiences blindspots that hold them back. Hearing diverse perspectives from group members can make you aware of both your strengths and weaknesses, a valuable asset in all areas of recovery.
The Group Can Help You Practice New Skills
Improving interpersonal skills can make sobriety and life in general much easier. Group therapy is a chance to practice these skills in a supportive environment with a therapist present to mediate interactions. Giving and receiving constructive feedback are important skills to have and they also take quite a bit of practice. You don’t want to feel attacked and you don’t want others to feel like you’re attacking them. Group therapy is a good opportunity to practice any new interpersonal skill, whether it’s giving compliments, opening up about something important to you, or enforcing boundaries with other group members.
Group Therapy Shows You You’re Not Alone
Many people with substance use issues struggle with a deep sense of shame. They may have experienced childhood abuse or neglect, suffered some trauma, or done things in active addiction that they aren’t proud of. Suppressing shame as a common survival mechanism. Unfortunately, this only makes things worse. During group therapy, people often discover that others have been through similar things and that they are not alone. This often comes as a huge relief. Even if others haven’t been through the same thing, discovering that you can share openly about these difficult experiences without being judged or rejected is powerful.
Looking for Support?
Group therapy is a powerful treatment method. Although a lot of people are skeptical of it, diving in and engaging with the process is one of the best ways to create sustainable progress. Finding connection is really the heart of recovery. At Tree House Recovery of Portland, Oregon, building a sense of connection and teamwork among our clients is central to our holistic treatment program. To learn more about how our program helps men lead better, sober lives, call us today at (503) 850-2474