How to Make the Most Out of Group Therapy
The road to recovery is long and arduous – one that is filled with doubts and temptations that will probably discourage you from moving forward. This journey is a lifelong commitment that necessitates constant rigor and conscious efforts to maintain sobriety. In this process, uncertainties and even relapses are almost an inevitability because, at some point, it will get so hard that you would want to give up. However, all of these things are part of the process to make you better and get out of the woods that have surrounded you. The light at the end of the tunnel is a bright one and it promises better opportunities and an optimistic future that you otherwise will not find.
Part of the process of recovery is admission. Addiction is a disease and it is through accepting the help you need will your prospects get eventually better. Part of this help is going through proper channels and gaining access to therapy to facilitate your recovery.
Therapy and Recovery
Seeking professional help is vital to help manage your recovery. While recovery is not a one-size-fits-all where a singular solution can be given to help your problems, therapy is usually one that is recommended to almost all cases of addiction, irrespective of the severity of the case. Different treatment modalities are recommended for different patients depending on where they are on their path to recovery, but therapy is generally integrated into almost all treatment options. Therapy is when licensed professional talks with you to help you navigate your struggles and problems. A lot of questions are answered and things are made clear with the help of these trained individuals.
Making the most out of group therapy
At this point in your recovery where you have acknowledged that you need help, having a support system will greatly increase your chances of recovering. For this reason, group therapy is usually recommended because having a group of people going through the same journey as you may help you. Furthermore, since the group is undergoing similar struggles, the bond and relationship you can form may prove to be invaluable to help you get better.
1. Be yourself. The first thing you should remember to make the most of your therapy is to be your authentic self. The goal of therapy is to make sure that you get the care that YOU deserve. Putting on a façade to protect yourself will be detrimental to the process and will be a disservice to your recovery. You should be raw and not hide within a “perfect” image you constructed so that others will not judge you. The thing you should remember in group therapy is that, except for the professionals, all of you have messed up. You are facing similar struggles and are seeking answers to similar questions. Being someone else in front of others – something addicts tend to be an expert in – will do you no favors. You should think that therapy is a judgment-free zone and thus, you should be yourself and present the most genuine version of yourself.
2. Be honest. The thing with addiction is that it tends to make people into great liars. To find that next high, people tend to make excuses and stories out of thin air with such expertise you would think they’re being truthful. In a group therapy scenario, this will do nothing to help you. Similar to the abovementioned, you should talk about things as they are. Yes, what you are going through is messed up and sad. It may even be a horrid experience that you wish you could forget. However, your honest accounts of your experiences may help others in their journey. Hopefully, that will inspire you to be better as well. People relating to your stories and connecting with you on such a profound level may potentially help you with your recovery.
We all know the old saying which goes “honesty is the best policy”. Truth be told, in a group therapy session, it is such an important thing you must do. Therapy is built on trust, and if people cannot trust a word you say, it will stifle all the progress that you may have made with them.
3. Give and receive feedback. You are in group therapy not just so you can be a listening ear for others. You are on the receiving end of particularly heavy baggage that someone else has been carrying on their backs. They need help, and that is one of the reasons why you are there. You can help them by giving feedback on their experiences and reflecting on whether or not you went through the same. Furthermore, you can share certain ways you coped with similar problems that other people are going through, as well. Therapy is a two-way street. You are not a wall that simply exists as a sounding board for other people to vent to. You are there to give inputs that would hopefully be helpful for others.
Another reason why you should give feedback is that it gives you a feeling of pride to have helped others. It is such a gratifying feeling to be someone who has made an impact on other people’s lives in such a massive way. Your words can be something that touches them for their entire lives, so you forge a deep connection with such people. Who knows? Your words may have completely changed their future and you might not know it.
Group therapy is unique in the sense that it gives you the capacity to help shape and influence other people’s lives. That feeling of connection, the deep bond you cultivate with others, all of those are such important factors that can help you recover. The words “you are not alone, we are here for you” may be annoying if you constantly hear it from professionals who are not going through the things you are struggling with, but seeing others who are the same as you be successful can be very inspiring. We hope that that inspiration can help you turn your life around and become the best version of yourself that you can be.