Initial skepticism toward group therapy is common. Considering discussing your difficulties with a large group of unfamiliar people while in an outpatient treatment program can be frightening. Nonetheless, many people are positively surprised by how much they like and benefit from group therapy.
The majority of high-quality addiction treatment programs now routinely include group therapy. This is in part due to the efficient method it can treat more people and be community driven. For many diseases, particularly substance use disorders and most co-occurring mental health conditions, group therapy has been demonstrated to be just as beneficial as individual therapy in numerous studies.
There are ways that clients can gain from group therapy more so than individual therapy, such as the following. Group therapy enables clients to receive more outpatient treatment hours at a lower cost.
You Discover That You Are Not Alone
Those with substance use problems frequently experience loneliness, depression, and shame. A background of sexual or physical abuse, which victims may have concealed for years or even decades, is a common cause of addiction. Others may have behaved in ways that they afterward regretted because of their addiction.
You could feel isolated and unworthy as a result. Finding out they aren’t alone in group therapy is frequently a relief for the participants. Now that others have encountered a similar situation, they may finally discuss it.
Sense of Community
Group therapy teaches you that you’re not the only one suffering and makes you feel closer to other people. One of the most crucial elements of quitting addiction is feeling connected.
Feeling alone, unwanted, and unsupported makes substance use and the ailments that frequently accompany it, such as significant anxiety and depression, worse. It can be calming and empowering to feel a true connection with the group.
There is also a more practical advantage to that feeling of closeness. You are more likely to take the process seriously if you are concerned about your group and take into account how your actions may affect them. You respect the rules and arrive more frequently and on schedule.
Aids in Communication Abilities
Few of us genuinely communicate well, even though most think we do. Most of the time, we don’t listen well and are unsure of whether others have heard or understood what we have said.
Every aspect of our life, including our employment, personal relationships, and casual interactions, are affected by poor communication skills. For most people, interpersonal disagreement is the primary source of stress.
Your communication skills will improve in group therapy since everyone is working on understanding and listening. If you misunderstand someone, chances are someone else will speak out.
You will improve your listening and empathic abilities, see how others misunderstand what you say, and progressively develop more transparent communication skills. We don’t typically have the opportunity to do this in our daily contacts.
Receive More Diverse Feedback
Although it might appear that we should understand ourselves better than anyone else, this is rarely the case. Our perceptions of ourselves are never accurate, and we mostly come to know ourselves through interactions with others. In that sense, group therapy offers a unique chance to better understand yourself.
It surpasses individual therapy in certain aspects. In individual treatment, you must rely on your therapist’s feedback, with which you might not agree. After all, therapists themselves have prejudices and blind spots.
You may reject your therapist’s advice despite your apparent logic. Yet, you might receive a wider range of input in group therapy. You might be more receptive to criticism if numerous group members concur that your actions are unreasonable in some sense.
Put New Abilities to Use
Addiction treatment focuses heavily on teaching patients new mental and behavioral abilities. For instance, identifying and addressing faulty thought patterns, such as overgeneralization or catastrophizing, is a crucial ability in many forms of therapy. Or perhaps you need to improve some unproductive social behaviors.
Finding opportunities to employ these new abilities in daily life might be challenging when stressed. We frequently revert to old habits. But group therapy can serve as a testing ground for novel approaches to thinking and behaving.
For instance, if you tend to defer to others too much, joining a group could be an excellent way to practice being more aggressive in a friendly setting. This practice is incorporated into some therapeutic modalities, including dialectical behavioral therapy, or DBT.
DBT acknowledges that managing uncomfortable emotions in social settings is crucial to treating some illnesses and that for therapy to be effective, clients must have the opportunity to practice in these settings.
The Group Enables the Therapist to Observe Interpersonal Skills
The fact that you are typically the therapist’s primary source of knowledge about your life is a significant disadvantage of individual treatment. Although most people don’t intentionally lie to their therapists during sessions, we all have our lenses through which we view the world.
We don’t always describe other people’s activities as they are; instead, we describe them as we observe them. On the other hand, in group therapy, we converse with people right away. Engaging with group members can help the therapist understand how you connect with other people in your life, even if your parent or spouse isn’t in the group.
Aquila Recovery Clinic
Men and women can recover from the complex disease of addiction at Aquila Recovery Center in a safe, supportive, and healing environment. Our team firmly believes in motivating each client to overcome their obstacles, identify the source of their issues, and take back their life. Contact us at or email us at our admissions page if you or a loved one is struggling with addiction.