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    Benefits of Group Counseling in Addiction Treatment

    Addiction is a very isolating, lonely disease. When you are the only one struggling with addiction in your family or friend group, it can feel lonely, like no one can relate to the issues you are struggling with. When you are deep in your addiction, isolation can follow, leading to a lonely life. Addiction makes you feel like no one can relate to or support you in the way you need.

    It is a common misconception that people with an active addiction do not want to stop using, but the truth couldn't be farther from that. Most addicts want to stop using drugs but do not feel like they can, which keeps them trapped in the perpetual cycle of addiction. Part of that cycle is guilt and shame, which is one of the primary reasons addicts become secretive about their use and isolate themselves from others. Unfortunately, however, blocking out others while abusing drugs only makes the situation worse.

    Having strong, healthy relationships is a significant necessity in human life. We naturally gravitate towards one another and instinctively want to care and be cared for. But when something as insidious as addiction has taken hold, this need in our lives gets ignored and damaged. But in recovery, connecting with others is vital, as no one can go from being an addict to sober and healthy without the help, support, and companionship of others. That is why group counseling is a vital component in addiction treatment.

    What is Group Counseling?

    The simple description of group counseling is a type of psychotherapy where a group of individuals comes together to discuss commonly shared issues while being led by one or more therapists. Group counseling, however, is so much more than that.

    All addiction treatment programs typically offer group counseling, regardless of if a patient is in residential counseling or in an outpatient program. Some of the most common types of group counseling topics include the following:

    • Dealing with triggers (people, places, feelings, or situations that make you want to abuse drugs)
    • Psychoeducation on addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders
    • Managing emotions
    • Relationship skills
    • Mindfulness (the ability to live in the present moment)
    • Anger management
    • Healing from trauma
    • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) groups
    • Relapse prevention

    Counseling is often done in groups because people who have battled addiction tend to share several similarities in their disease. By coming together with others, all patients can benefit from listening, learning, and actively participating in their recovery.

    Benefits of Group Counseling

    Group counseling is provided in nearly every single addiction treatment program in the country and in Ohio because it works. Group counseling in addiction treatment is an evidence-based treatment, meaning that it has been tested and declared effective in treating the symptoms of addiction. Group counseling offers endless benefits to its participants, including but not limited to the following:

    Accountability:

    There is a great sense of camaraderie within a support group, and each member is held more accountable for their actions. Groups often become very close and tight-knit. A sense of mutual responsibility emerges that causes each person to care about the actions of others in the group, often banding together to help out a member in need. Simply knowing that they will be attending group counseling sessions helps recovering addicts stay on the right track not to jeopardize their participation in the group or let others who are rooting for them down.  This can be especially beneficial to prevent relapse.

    Companionship and Support

    A person going through an addiction often cuts out people in their life that want to see the addict recover. This leaves the addict in a lonely position, and even when starting to get treatment, the bonds with family and friends may still need to be repaired before the person can get the kind of support and companionship they need.

    One of the benefits of group counseling for addiction is that it can provide companionship and support. An addict can see that their experiences do not isolate them and that other people are going through the same thing they are. The common bonds that members of the addiction group counseling have can serve as a basis for a fruitful relationship. Addiction group counseling helps break down defensive boundaries because the person hears another speaking about a solution to their problem instead of telling the addict what to do.

    Skills development

    Because patients are working in a group setting, they get the opportunity to develop and improve their communication and social skills. Group counseling in addiction treatment encourages having discussions about hard topics, learning how to agree and disagree, and developing compassion for others while also learning the importance of self-care. The sharpening of these skills can help patients improve their relationships with everyone in their lives, from their families to members of their communities.

    Greater insight

    Another benefit of group counseling for addiction is a person being able to gain a greater insight into their problems. Being in the middle of your problems can make it difficult to see your way through sometimes. In group counseling, you are able to see other's closely-related problems from an outside perspective, allowing you to gain insight that you couldn't before.

    Motivation and inspiration

    Seeing other group members achieve big and small victories in their recovery can inspire others to make continual progress in their own personal recovery. Hearing others talk about where they came from to where they now also increase motivation in all who are actively listening, as seeing the actual transformation of an addict in plain sight can keep them fighting for the same in their lives.

    Sounding Board

    These groups provide a perfect way to share real-life situations you may be experiencing. If, for example, you talk about a fight you had with your partner, group members may see things in the way you present it that you don't.

    Hearing from other people about how you come across can be very powerful. You get a wider range of perspectives on your situation, and that can help you deal with your problems better. This sharing of situations can be invaluable during your recovery process.

    Additionally, you may find that a situation someone else is having may be similar to yours. Hearing how they are dealing with it and the advice they are given to solve their problem may work for you as well.

    Learning from others

    Not everyone in group counseling is going to share the same cultural, educational, economic, or social backgrounds. This is one of the greatest benefits of group counseling because it provides everyone the chance to learn from others' experiences and continue to grow in their recovery. The simple act of sharing personal stories with each other can provide the group with insight and help them think about things differently than they would have if they did not engage in these conversations and activities with others.

    These are merely just some of the many benefits of group counseling in addiction treatment. Most importantly, however, is that group counseling shows addicts that they are not alone. There are people who are facing the same struggles they are and who have gone through the trials and tribulations of addiction just as they have. Going from feeling like the only person in the world with an addiction to being in a room of others who can personally relate is a benefit in itself.

    Restoring Recovery Groups

    The idea of participating in group therapy might seem intimidating.  However, it is not as bad as it seems, with many participants are often surprised by how rewarding their experience can be.

    How much people want to reveal about themselves is very individual, but there's security in knowing that what's said in the group stays in the group. These groups consist of 2 to 12 participants and are led by one or more group facilitators to ensure you get the best guidance in the recovery process.  The number of groups you would attend depends on your level of care determined from the assessment.

    If you are ready to stop using for good, call Restoring Recovery today. We understand the pain from addiction, and we are here to help.  Do not wait any longer to ask for the help that you deserve.  PUSH for has same-day assessment appointments available.

    Donate

    Donate to help the Life Recovery Society provide a safe, sober, supportive, and flexible way for individuals to earn an income while in treatment.  Life Recovery Society also plans to add a men's and women's sober living home in the Hilltop Community.

    COMING SOON!