One of the scariest thoughts when struggling with substance use disorder is that you will have to go through treatment alone. Even scarier, sometimes, is the thought of baring your soul to strangers in group therapy, which is often a required component of treatment for many programs, including Partial Hospitalization or Intensive Outpatient programs.
Even though it might feel unnerving at first, group therapy can be rewarding. When clinical therapy is in small groups rather than large ones, there is much more of a chance that you will feel less alone. Clinical therapy in small groups is a wonderful substance use recovery method where you will feel like your voice is heard.
The Benefits of Group Addiction Therapy
When you begin your addiction recovery journey, there is so much importance in practicing self-love, being gentle with yourself, and congratulating yourself for taking the steps toward a healthier lifestyle. You are taking the reins, and it might be the first time you have felt in control, especially when substance use disorder has made you feel out of control.
You Are Not Alone
You may have felt alone for a long time, or you may have been struggling alone for fear of being judged or cut off from family and friends. The biggest benefit of group addiction therapy is that you are not alone. According to the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 14.5% of people surveyed aged 12 or older said they suffered from substance use disorder, and 1.4% received substance use treatment.
These statistics indicate that you are not alone in your addiction recovery journey. You should be proud of yourself for being part of the much smaller group of people who seek help for substance use disorder. Deciding to get treatment is one of the bravest things you can do, so congratulate yourself every step of the way.
Small-Group Therapy vs. Large Group Therapy
Small group therapy sessions usually consist of no more than eight people. It is a beautiful way to interact with, learn from, and even help others who have similar substance use disorders. A smaller group means you have more of a chance of hearing your voice as those struggling with substance use disorder get to know each other more intimately. In small group sessions, you usually have more time to talk about the specific struggles you are going through with peers and the therapist leading the session.
Large group therapy sessions are as they sound: much larger than a small group. Large group therapy can consist of 20 or more people, and it is often not as easy to get to know one another in a larger group. People suffering from addiction will find themselves with a lot less time to talk about their specific struggles or get the individualized help they need from peers and the therapist or doctor leading the session.
Connect With Others That Share Experiences
Group therapy is a component of substance abuse treatment where you can interact and communicate with others who have walked in the same shoes. It is a therapeutic way of sharing your struggles with people who have been there themselves. Group addiction therapy can give you a real sense of belonging. It is a place where you can also provide support to others, something that can improve self-confidence during the addiction recovery process.
When you set goals and share them with your group, you will be held more accountable for completing these goals, and you will also hold accountable your peers who are going through similar circumstances.
Therapy in groups, especially small groups, can strengthen social bonds, and you will learn how to re-integrate yourself within a social structure. Social bonds can often become broken when a person is suffering from addiction, and one of the most important things to remember is that you are not alone.
Be Open to Your Peers
When utilizing small group therapy for substance abuse treatment, it is important to be as open and honest as possible with your peers. Group therapy, in general, should be a “judge-free zone” and a place where you can freely talk about your struggles to get the best support possible.
For those struggling with substance use disorder, it is often hard to talk to others about what they are going through, especially friends and family who do not understand or may have been judgmental in the past. Small group therapy is a way to shed the guilt and the stigma that often comes with substance use disorder and treatment.
It can be a scary and lonely road for those struggling with substance use disorder. Small group therapy is a wonderful tool to help you overcome your fears while having the ability to connect with peers who are going through similar struggles. Substance use disorder can often make you feel out of control, lonely, and helpless, but when you have the support of your peers in small group therapy, it can make you feel like you are taking control once again. Here at Lighthouse Recovery Texas, we utilize intentional therapy groups as a part of your treatment, with each group consisting of no more than eight people. Small group therapy will give you the space and room to feel like your voice will be heard. For more information on small group therapy and other substance use treatments, reach out to us today and call (214) 760-6933.