Many people struggling with addiction want to be clean and are willing to get help to achieve their goal. The question, however, is whether to seek that help through one-on-one therapy or through group counseling. There is nothing wrong with individual therapy. However, these 6 benefits of group counseling for addiction are well worth consideration because they reveal how helpful this type of treatment can be, and Forbes magazine reports that many addicts do not realize what a good treatment experience looks like.
1. It Allows You to Confess
What is left in the dark remains unchanged. It is in through transparent vulnerability that true healing can take place. Hiding an addiction keeps you wrapped in shame and guilt making progress difficult. But when you share your experiences with others, it opens the door for healing. Confession is in and of itself therapeutic, but it is often difficult to find someone we can trust with these heavy secrets. And being in a group therapy session allows you to open up and share the painful experiences your addiction has caused without the fear of being judged by others.
2. You See You Are Not Alone
You may feel alone when struggling with an addiction. This is especially true for “normal” citizens, people who otherwise hold respectable jobs and are active in society. Addiction does not discriminate. Not every addict is homeless, nor does everyone struggling with addiction appear to be. In many cases, the average person we see in the grocery store could very well be dealing with drugs or alcohol. Group therapy allows you to see that you are not the only one and that in spite of appearing to have everything together on the outside, the pain you are feeling inside is something that other people are struggling with as well.
3. It Gives You Real Life Suggestions and Advice
It is easy to open a book and read what somebody thinks you should do to overcome an addiction. But it is an entirely different matter when another addict tells you, “I was once where you are now, but this is what I did to overcome that struggle.” That practical advice that comes from true experience is invaluable. Having other addicts in a group therapy session alongside of you who have walked through the ups and downs of addiction can provide you with insight into the next step on your present journey towards recovery.
4. It Provides Accountability
It is much easier to slip on a Thursday evening after work when there is no one you have to give an account to afterwards. But if you have a group therapy session on Friday afternoon, the chances of you giving in to temptation on Thursday drop drastically. “Simply knowing that you will look other people in the eyes and tell them if you were successful the previous week or not goes a long way in helping you to fight addiction,” said BD Health Services.
5. It Motivates and Inspires You
Simply seeing a motivating movie sparks something inside of us all. Imagine instead what would happen if somebody who once was exactly where you currently are in your struggle were to tell you they have been successful in staying sober for an entire year. A part of you will want to celebrate with them and another part will be inspired to achieve the same results. Having someone next to you in a group therapy session can give you the extra inspiration to keep you moving forward toward success.
6. It Is Less Expensive
Although this point may easily be overlooked, it is important to consider that group therapy is much less expensive than individual therapy. And, in most cases, price will determine the length of time you are able to receive treatment. It may be nearly impossible to keep up with frequent one-on-one therapy sessions. However, the affordable price of group therapy makes it much easier to continue with treatment for a prolonged period of time which drastically increases your chances of success in the long haul.
You may feel like attending group therapy and telling your problems to other people is the last thing you want to do. But the Huffington Post reports that “drug addiction is a very complex disease,” making treatment difficult. And these six benefits to group counseling for addiction may make group sessions one of the best treatment options available.