When is Group Therapy the Answer?

When is Group Therapy the Answer?


Sometimes, when individuals enter rehab for substance abuse or a behavior disorder, there is a stigma about group therapy. It can be difficult to open up to a room full of strangers. Trust is key. You have to believe that those patients present are facing similar challenges and are just as afraid of telling their own stories. Like any method, group therapy is not always the best answer for some individuals.

When Should You Avoid Group Therapy?

Researchers claim that individuals going through heavy emotional crises or individuals who are similarly unbalanced should not enter group therapy sessions until they have made some breakthroughs in individual counseling. It is best to have all participants on stable ground. The most practical explanation for this boundary is safety. Group therapy sessions are designed to provide a safe and friendly environment for discussion. When there is a significant amount of tension in the room it can disrupt this recovery process for others.

Benefits of Group Therapy

Group therapy is one of the most powerful ways to convey that you are not alone. It is one thing to be told this over and over, and quite another to experience it for yourself. Healing is an easier process when you have an outlet in which you can express the challenges you face, your fears, your doubts. It is helpful to hear the echo of your own worries in another’s words. Group therapy provides a level of support that loved ones cannot offer. Group therapy calls for support, encouragement, and empathy from others who are going through similar experiences, which can be extremely cathartic and beneficial for recovering addicts.

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Types of Group Therapy

Like other treatment options, group therapy can be organized in various ways. Groups may be split by how long an individual has been participating in therapy sessions, or it may be more mixed. There are benefits to both organizational methods. One might feel more comfortable knowing that everybody in the room is at a similar point in therapy. This type of group minimizes feelings of jealousy or self-deprecation.  It alleviates the fear of telling others where you stand because you are all in a similar place.

Others might find comfort in seeing peers with more experience. A mixed group provides beginners with a sense of hope because they see what is possible further down the line. Those who are more experienced in the group can find joy in helping others along their respective paths. Research is a key component to finding the proper group therapy fit for an individual. Make sure to ask how the groups are organized.

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