If you’re looking for a group therapy program in Los Angeles or wherever you’re located, you likely have researched the benefits of group therapy.
People are typically wary of group therapy programs, especially clients in addiction treatment programs. The thought of opening up and talking about their problems in front of a bunch of strangers can make even the most sociable client nervous or anxious. People in recovery usually have damaged relationships with many of their friends and family, so creating new relationships with fellow clients in therapy can be intimidating.
However, many clients ultimately like group therapy because of what they get out of it. In fact, group therapy is a staple in most addiction treatment programs because it’s an effective way to treat clients–each session helps multiple clients, after all. Studies also show that group therapy is just as effective as individual therapy when it’s included in the treatment programs of many conditions, including substance use disorders and most co-occurring mental health issues.
What Is a Group Therapy Program?
Like an individual therapy program, a group therapy program is a form of psychotherapy. In group therapy, several clients meet regularly to share their struggles in treatment under the guidance of a licensed therapist. Research shows that group therapy is rewarding for those that participate. Regardless of how many participants there are or where they’re from, this type of therapy is very effective. The benefits of group therapy in Los Angeles are the same as they would be if you were treated elsewhere.
A group therapy program can be used alone, but it’s often part of a comprehensive treatment plan that also includes individual therapy and other forms of care–possibly even medication. Apart from addiction, other mental health problems can be addressed with group therapy, such as:
- Chronic pain
What Are the Benefits of an Addiction Treatment and Group Therapy Program?
1. Makes Clients Feel Less Alone and More Connected To Others
Most clients with substance use disorders are used to feeling depressed, isolated, and even ashamed. Some may be dealing with trauma that they’ve hidden for decades. Others may be ashamed of and therefore hide things they’ve done as a result of their addiction. When clients first participate in group therapy, they’re encouraged to let go of that shame because they see that their experience is not unique.
Others have had similar experiences, and in group therapy, clients can either talk about what happened to them or listen to others talk about their path to recovery. Group therapy helps clients feel more connected to others, which can be an essential aspect in overcoming addiction and maintaining sobriety.
Substance use disorders and the mental health conditions that often co-occur with them, such as anxiety and depression, are often made worse by feeling isolated and unsupported. Finding a genuine connection with other clients, and caring about their progress, can relieve stress and give someone a sense of purpose. They’re also more likely to take the addiction treatment process and sobriety maintenance seriously.
2. Helps Clients Improve Communication Skills
Poor communication skills affect every area of a client’s life, not just what addiction touches. Excellent communication skills can result in positive changes in a client’s career, personal life, and random social interactions. Group therapy improves communication skills because all the participants are engaged in both listening and understanding.
Not only will clients sharpen their listening and empathy skills, but they will also experience how others misinterpret what they say. They will gradually learn to communicate more clearly because they’re working with a broad range of feedback instead of just talking to themselves in their heads.
A client’s self-image is typically distorted throughout their addiction. Group therapy, as part of an addiction treatment program, then becomes a rare opportunity to understand themselves better through multiple perspectives.
3. Allows Clients To Practice New Skills
For many clients, group therapy sessions can be a venue for practicing new skills they’ve learned in individual therapy sessions or skill-building workshops. For instance, they may have learned how to recognize and challenge distorted patterns of thinking, or they may be working on replacing counterproductive social habits they’ve developed during their addiction.
It can be challenging to find opportunities to practice these new skills in real life. When people are under stress, they tend to fall back into more familiar habits and patterns. Group therapy can be a safe place for experimenting with new ways of thinking and interacting. Another advantage of practicing new skills in group therapy is that clients do this while their therapist can observe them. The therapist can then use what they’ve observed to adjust or change individual therapy goals.
Ready To Learn More About Avedis Recovery’s Addiction Treatment and Group Therapy Options?
Want to reap the benefits of group therapy in Los Angeles, California? Contact Avedis Recovery by calling 833.514.0579 or reaching out to our team online.