What is the one thing almost every single treatment center in the US has in common? The answer is group therapy. There are approximately 11,000 treatment centers in the country, more than half of which provide residential care for addiction, and nearly all of them also offer group therapy. Why is that?
Group therapy is crucial to addiction treatment, as it is incredibly effective. When an individual attends group therapy, they know that it is a safe space where sharing their problems will not be met with judgement, only support. So what are some of the reasons that group therapy works so well?
Identifying with Others
An individual attending group therapy is able to identify with other people who are also attending. They are surrounded by people who share a lot of the same experiences and emotions about addiction and recovery. There is a mutual identification and acceptance in these situations, and the individual is does not feel like an outsider. They know that there will be no judgement from the very people who have had the same struggles, and they will be able to open up and talk about their issues.
The support that is provided by group therapy is invaluable. An individual who comes to group therapy for the first time is likely at one of the hardest points in their lives. Hearing from people who have been there and lived through it can be extremely uplifting. The individual learns from such people that addiction is not the end, and that there is an alternative.
Positive Role Models
Everyone in group therapy can be a positive role model for the individual. Addiction can seem inescapable, but in this kind of group setting the individual is in the midst of other people who were in the same situation and broke the cycle of addiction. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Furthermore, group members can confront an individual trying to make excuses for not staying sober. Having struggled with addiction themselves, these members will be able to refute any excuses the individual has, and make them stay on the path to recovery.
Being a Part Of Something Bigger
This is an important reason behind why group therapy works so well. The individual becomes part of something bigger than themselves. They are not struggling with their demons alone, but are part of a fraternity where everyone is struggling or has struggled. And the individual must take part and open up if they want to feel part of something.
Being part of a support group means following their rules. Most individuals stayed addicted by pushing boundaries and ignoring rules. However, in a group therapy setting they are required to adhere to the rules of the group. This is important, as individuals with an addiction appear to thrive in a structured environment. Learning the rules and knowing that they cannot be ignored can go a long way towards the individual’s recovery process.
This is the simplest, but possibly the most important reason of all. Many individuals with an addiction feel there is no hope. No hope of recovery, no hope of anyone understanding them. But in group therapy there are people who want to help them, and this shares the burden. It gives the individual hope to imagine a life beyond addiction. Hope is the most important thing an individual can have and is the best part of group therapy.
Blueprints provides support for young adults facing addiction recovery. Call us if you need help for your loved one who is struggling to quit gambling or other addictions.