Horizon Blog

Benefits of Group Therapy for Substance Use Recovery

March 4th, 2017

There is a comfort in feeling that someone understands you, and a relief in knowing you’re not alone. The comfort that can be felt among those who intimately understand your struggles helps to make group therapy an effective part of a substance use recovery program. The benefits of group therapy are many, and have been proven by researchers and experts. If you or someone you love are ready to begin the healing process of substance use disorder recovery, consider the following benefits of group therapy as part of your recovery program.

The Group Therapy Format

Depending on the program, group therapy sessions often consist of anywhere from three to 12 members plus the facilitating therapist. Sessions may be held once or twice a week, and typically for one to two hours. Group therapy is a specific type of counseling that is used to treat patients recovering from addiction, substance abuse, or psychological disorders.

The Key to Success

The overarching key factor that helps make group therapy successful, is that all participants are battling the same issue. Together they work through their individual, but shared issues, learning from one another, finding strength in one another, and encouraging one another to succeed.

The Benefits of Group Therapy Sessions for Substance Use Recovery

  • Peer Support. Group participants are encouraged to support one another, and to be optimistic about their own successes when they seeing others in the group progress toward meeting their goals. The feeling of knowing you are supported by others who are struggling with the same issues, for many, is extremely motivating and encouraging.
  • Encouragement for Newcomers. Individuals are encouraged to participate in group sessions for as long as they need. During this time, other participants typically come and go as they work through their own treatment plans. In this way, newcomers to the group can witness first-hand the progress and success of more established group members. Being able to interact with others who have taken strides toward recovery by participating in the same form of treatment gives many new group members confidence and reassurance.
  • The Feeling of Solidarity. For many, drug and alcohol addiction is an isolating condition. Many often feel that their friends and family aren’t able to understand their struggles and feelings. Group therapy sessions help to reassure participants that they are not alone, and give them a safe space to share experiences and feelings with others who understand and empathize.
  • Shared Learning. Group therapy facilitators are not the only participants able to offer advice. Peers are able to learn from one another, sharing best practices, and offering suggestions for how to heal and battle cravings. The shared learning that occurs in group therapy sessions is often some of the most helpful in individual recovery.
  • Physical Healing. Studies have shown that sharing experiences and emotions with others can reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and guilt. In this way, the process of unburdening oneself through conversation with peers can help to mitigate the physical symptoms associated with the mental strain of addiction.

How to Get Help

If you or a loved one are interested in finding a group therapy sessions to help with addiction recovery and live in the Western New York area, contact the knowledgeable team at Horizon Health Services today at (716) 831-1800.

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