Why Group Therapy is Beneficial for Alcoholics

Individuals who are in recovery from alcohol addiction have several choices when it comes to treatment. Deciding how to approach recovery is deeply personal and what works for one person may not work for another. Group therapy for alcohol recovery is one treatment option that’s highly recommended because of its effectiveness. However, many people are wary of it. They’re reluctant to discuss their personal issues with multiple people or they doubt whether it could be helpful. If you’re recovering from alcohol addiction, you may be wondering why group therapy is used so often. Let’s look at what it is and why it’s a popular treatment option.

What’s Group Therapy Like?

Group therapy involves one- to two-hour sessions with one or more therapists. There can be as few as three or as many as 12 participants who also have problems with alcohol use. Groups usually meet once or twice per week but your therapist may recommend a different schedule. This will depend on your treatment goals and your stage of recovery. Some people need just a few months of group therapy while others may need an entire year.

While you will address your addiction during your sessions, group therapy can take several formats. There may be sessions on building and maintaining relationships or fostering a healthy body image. You can also learn skills to deal with any accompanying mood disorders and discover ways of preventing relapse. Some group sessions can be light-hearted and aimed at encouraging the participants to bond.

There are many models for group therapy. These include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy groups. This may be the most well-known type of group therapy. These groups are focused on helping members to identify their distorted beliefs and problem-causing behaviors. It also helps them to develop new ways of thinking and behaving in an effort to prevent relapse.
  • Support groups. In these sessions, the focus is on offering care and compassion to each member. The group leader supports the participants and they support each other. The leader will help participants to improve their interpersonal skills as they share their experiences and help each other solve problems.
  • Psychoeducational groups. These can resemble a classroom setting. They are aimed at providing education on general themes surrounding substance abuse and mental health issues and how these can be addressed.
  • Skill development groups. These sessions are more specific to individual members of the group and their needs. More emphasis is placed on participants interreacting with each other instead of just listening to the facilitator.

Things Addicts Discover When They Participate in Group Therapy for Alcohol Recovery

Group therapy has been a part of drug and alcohol recovery for decades. Many addicts find that:

  • They meet other people who can support them and help them set and achieve recovery goals.
  • Members of the group face the same problems they do but view them in a different light. When you see an issue from someone else’s perspective, you may discover new ways of handling it.
  • Group therapy provides a safe space for trying new ways of thinking and behaving. You can bounce ideas off like-minded people before you interact with non-addicts who may not understand you.
  • Working with a group is a natural way to solve problems including alcohol addiction. Humans are social beings and they are inclined to work together and learn from each other. In the same way that group activities are useful at work or school, they can be useful in therapy.

Deciding Whether Group Therapy is Right for Your Alcohol Recovery

Group therapy is usually only one of a series of interventions aimed at helping addicts to live healthier lives. Your therapist will help you to decide whether this type of treatment would be appropriate for you. You will need to be matched with a group that meets your needs and the therapist will take your preferences into consideration. Your stage in recovery and your emotional stability will also factor in. Some people are not suitable for group therapy. These include those who:

  • Are in crisis with serious, unmanageable systems
  • Don’t see group therapy as a viable option
  • Are unable to maintain confidentiality or incapable of adhering to the group’s rules
  • Struggle to build appropriate relationships
  • Experience extreme stress in new situations and around other people

Contact Asheville Recovery Center to Learn About the Options Available to You

If you want to learn about the various addiction recovery approaches, reach out to our experienced team. We offer personalized treatment for individuals who want to overcome addiction. Call us today to schedule a consultation.

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