If you’re like most people, the thought of participating in group therapy activities probably sounds intimidating. Or maybe cheesy. Or, you may feel like group therapy is too much, too soon. While these feelings are entirely normal, group therapy has helped thousands of people achieve long-term sobriety. If your’e skeptical of group therapy, it’s important to understand that many of the people who complete group therapy activities started out feeling the same way you do.
Group therapy is one of the most effective therapeutic techniques for treating alcohol and substance use disorder (AUD/SUD), and addressing the psychological struggles associated with chemical dependency. A group therapy program, which usually consists of five to fifteen people, helps everyone discuss their thoughts and feelings, share insights into treatment, and support each other through the difficulties of recovery.
Healing Through Group Therapy Activities
One of the main objectives of treatment is to help you heal your mind, body, and spirit through a holistic approach to AUD/SUD treatment. This means not only getting sober but also starting to recover. One of the most effective healing tools is participating in a support group with individuals that understand your struggles and are on the same path to sobriety.
Group therapy activities promote healing in the following ways:
- You can share group therapy ideas in a safe setting
- You can reveal your innermost thoughts and feelings without being judged
- Everything is confidential
- Each person feels a sense of support and encouragement from everyone else
- You learn from people who share your experiences
- You get a wide range of perspectives from your recovery peers
Unconditional Support and Caring
In a group therapy program, everyone starts out a bit reserved and nervous. This is normal. However, a few weeks of group discussion and sharing can help people feel engaged without fear or reservation. Many groups become close-knit communities where participants grow and learn together.
During SUD and AUD therapy in a group setting, you have a chance to develop healthy relationships built on trust and mutual respect. Your therapist or counselor may even encourage you to call on each other for support from time to time. Don’t be surprised if you make a few lifelong friends along the way.
Group Therapy Activities Available to You
When you enter treatment for AUD or SUD, you can take advantage of several programs that include group therapy activities, such as:
- Partial Hospitalization Program
- Intensive Outpatient Program
- Aftercare Program
- Alumni Support Program
- 12-Step Recovery Support
Each of these programs puts you in touch with other people facing some of the same challenges you face – without losing focus on your individual needs.
Seek Support for Alcohol or Substance Use Disorder
Evidence shows that evidence-based, integrated treatment that includes individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, experiential/holistic therapy, and community support offers the best outcomes for people seeking long-term recovery. You can find treatment by asking for a referrral from a therapist or primary care physician. Or, you can simply get online and searching for alcohol or substance use disorder treatment centers. Taking the first steps to seeking support may be hard, but it will be worth it. Treatment can change your life – and in some cases, treatment can even save it.