Group therapy for recovery can be intimidating for some people. The recovery process is intimate and vulnerable. People may be wary of showing the worst parts of themselves to strangers or even clinicians. As a result, some people think they only want individual therapy to be part of their treatment plans. However, the benefits of group therapy make pushing through any discomfort more than worth it. Group therapy for recovery may be more helpful for some people than just experiencing individual therapy.
What Is Group Therapy for Recovery?
Before defining the benefits of group therapy, it’s worth outlining what it is and how it works. Group therapy is defined as any type of therapy delivered to more than one client at a time. Groups may be as small as two or three or as large as a dozen or more participants. The size and structure depend on which therapy is being delivered during treatment.
Any therapy used in an individual setting can also be applied in a group setting. Standard therapy in group counseling includes cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and classical talk therapy. Rounds of group therapy can take any amount of time, from a few weeks to months or even longer.
Benefits of Group Therapy
Group therapy offers numerous benefits to those who participate. The benefits of group therapy are not necessarily automatic. Simply showing up to group therapy doesn’t mean the experience will be transformative. Getting the most out of group therapy means embracing all it offers.
The more someone puts into group therapy, the more they will get out of it. Being there and absorbing what others share has its uses. Still, it may not procure the most significant possible benefit compared to someone who contributes and works to build strong relationships with others in their group. All that said, a few of the top benefits of group counseling include:
- The understanding that you are not alone in recovery
- Human connection with others who also struggle with addiction
- Improved communication skills
- Opportunities to give and receive feedback
- The chance to practice new skills
Three of these benefits of group therapy are explored in more detail below.
1. Human Connection
Individual therapy is not absent from human connection. The relationship between a therapist and a client is essential and can benefit someone in recovery. Yet the relationships people in recovery can build among themselves are often the most important for their long-term recovery outlook.
Addiction often leaves people shame-ridden and ostracized from society. Forging deep bonds during recovery helps people regain hope and find new people to rely on and productively struggle with.
2. Improved Communication Skills
The ability to communicate effectively with others is often something we overrate in ourselves and underestimate in others. Therapy, in general, is a great setting to work on communication skills and practice getting better at interpersonal interactions.
The group setting, in particular, is designed to help people improve their communication skills. Indeed, that involves speaking, but listening is just as critical of a skill and something that many people need to learn. Another thing that separates group therapy as an excellent venue for working on these skills is that it is safe, and somewhere people are encouraged to take risks. Failure is okay, even expected. The freedom to try new things and work through disappointments productively makes group therapy a great feature of addiction recovery.
3. Opportunities to Give and Receive Feedback
Self-perception is only sometimes accurate. Conversation in group therapy offers many chances to give and receive feedback. Both are necessary and helpful during the recovery process. Negative self-beliefs can be challenged and worked through by taking feedback to heart. And giving feedback can be empowering as people see themselves as able to help others.
Access Group Therapy for Addiction Recovery
Evoke Wellness at Cohasset offers group therapy for recovery to all clients who seek professional help with us. Group therapy may only sometimes be the right option. But that is something we help you figure out early on. Learn more about the benefits of group counseling by reaching out to 866.931.6429.