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Medically Reviewed by: Dr. Ryan Peterson, MD

Group Therapy for Substance Abuse: What Are The Benefits?

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Group Therapy For Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Like with everything in your life, having support in your corner is essential for your growth. When recovering from substance abuse, group therapy is a powerful tool that will bring about major positive life changes. Within a group setting, you can uncover and address the roots of your addiction knowing that you will be supported and that there are others experiencing the same struggles and challenges. 

Additionally, the help and support you received from your recovering peers will empower and motivate you to achieve your goal of lifelong sobriety. Having a shared purpose with a group creates a sense of comradery and a support structure to fall back on when you are feeling vulnerable or discouraged.

There are a number of benefits to group therapy for substance abuse which is why it is most often a component of most drug and alcohol rehab programs.

Benefits of Group Therapy For Substance Abuse

Group therapy offers Support in Recovery

The biggest benefit of group therapy is obviously the support you receive from your peers and treatment staff. While you may feel uncomfortable sharing your deepest secrets within a group setting, group therapy is the perfect environment to deal with the underlying roots that gave birth to your addiction. Your recovering peers are more than likely experiencing similar situations in their own recovery. As a result, you can feel a great sense of relief, comfort, and safety as you work through your own issues and supporting others in their struggles. Knowing you are not alone and that the issues you are facing are not unique only to you can be a comforting feeling. 

Hearing others share about what they’re experiencing and having an open forum to discuss issues with a group can build a sense of community and can be a great way to create a resolution to deep seeded issues for many people. Isolation is an unhealthy component of addiction for many people who try and hide the reality of their condition from others. Being part of a group of people dealing with the same issues allows you to be open and upfront about the topic of substance abuse without thefear of stigma or judgment.

Group Therapy Help Establish Healthy Communication Skills

A huge component of long-term recovery is the development of healthy communication skills. Group therapy allows you the opportunity to develop your ability to relate to others. In a group therapy setting, your peers and therapists provide you with meaningful feedback, which can be a powerful tool for reframing the way you see yourself or a situation you’ve been struggling with. 

Having a safe and supportive environment to express yourself can be incredibly healing as it gives you the opportunity to be open and honest about things you may be keeping bottled up inside. Being able to communicate how you feel and having others truly understand those feeling from the perspective of having experienced the same things themselves can be comforting and therapeutic. 

Group therapy allows you the ability to communicate with others who are in a similar situation and gives you the confidence to express yourself knowing you won’t be judged or stigmatized for your struggles with addiction.

Learn the Art of Giving and Taking

Despite what some may think, Group therapy isn’t simply someone receiving counseling while the others watch. Effective group therapy is hands-on and interactive. Group members are strongly encouraged to turn to each other for advice, knowledge, and support. The therapist in group therapy acts as a moderator to help guide the discussion and keep things on topic, however, group therapy is primarily an interaction among the group. By sharing your own experiences related to substance abuse and offering feedback for others, group therapy is as much about what you can give to the group versus simply what you’ll get in return. The feeling of helping out others can be a beneficial aspect of group therapy.

Knowledge to Help Guide Recovery from Addiction

Group therapy in a drug or alcohol rehab setting will teach you about the underlying causes of drug and alcohol abuse and provide you with tools for preventing relapse and better dealing with lifes challenges. You will learn about the psychological, physical and spiritual consequences of substance abuse in a group setting which allows for a discussion about these issues amongst a group. By being able to listen to questions presented by others and asking questions of your own, recovery groups offer an interactive learning experience on important topics related to substance abuse recovery.

You Aren’t Alone in Recovery 

As alluded to earlier, a huge benefit of group therapy in drug treatment is simply knowing that you aren’t alone in your struggles to get clean and sober for a lifetime. You are surrounded by peers who are walking in your shoes and are experiencing similar struggles in their own recovery. Over time, these people become your sober support network. As a result, you gain knowledge, grow and become more confident as an individual. Additionally, you learn to support and nurture others and bring about healing. Group therapy is a component of most drug and alcohol rehab programs and support groups for substance abuse and addiction can be found all over the world. Being part of a group when in recovery is a powerful tool that can help aid in long-term sustainable recovery.

Group Therapy in Addiction Treatment

It is time for you to take back control of your life.  Call the addiction professionals at NuView Integrative Recovery Center to find out about a treatment program that is right of you. Our outpatient and sober living programs offer a wide range of services that can help you build the foundation for sustainable recovery. Give us a call!

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Written By: Linda Whiteside

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor who has been providing mental health services for over 10 years.

Medically reviewed by: Dr. Ryan Peterson

Went to medical school at The George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C.

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