Group therapy means having other people encourage, support and challenge you. This group of peers likely understands your particular struggles better than maybe even friends and family.
It might feel difficult to open up about substance abuse to a small group of people, not knowing what to expect. If you are concerned about what group therapy or addiction treatment looks like, here are topics lectured and discussed in group therapy to help with sobriety.
Disease Of Addiction
This discussion centers around breaking the stigma that addiction is a moral flaw or a choice. While it was a choice the first time and an individual does so willingly believing the use can be controlled, when an addiction takes over, choice is removed. Progressive changes in the brain drive the actions of uncontrollable drug use - this is addiction.
Some individuals have a predisposition to addiction. Think of someone with allergies - because of genetics, some people have a predisposition to allergies. The same can happen for addiction.
This discussion is a discussion about identifying individual triggers that spark a craving for substance use. It can be different for everyone, maybe it’s stress, boredom, guilt or another emotion, a chemical imbalance, or people and places connected to the behavior. Triggers are the people, places, things and emotions that make an individual want to use more drugs or drink more alcohol. Mainly these four are triggering events that lead someone to use.
Coping & Managing Skills
This discussion centers around coping with uncomfortable feelings, thoughts and people. It is paramount when in early recovery to find new healthy coping mechanisms to combat the overwhelming feelings.
If it’s people causing uncomfortable feelings or triggers, reallocate the friendship circle or time spent with friends. This is a chance to evaluate your relationships and what they are about. If your friends are drinking buddies, what kind of friendship is it?
If it’s places causing uncomfortable feelings or cravings, consider shopping at a place that doesn’t sell alcohol, or bringing someone with you to go shopping.
If it’s thoughts causing uncomfortable feelings, it’s time to talk about what’s really going on. Hungry? Angry? Lonely? Tired? Positive coping methods means developing new schedules to intervene wrong patterns of behavior. For example: Tired? Is there a better sleep schedule to implement? Feeling lonely? Did you isolate yourself because of drinking and didn’t want to hear anyone’s opinions, or are relationships damaged with family friends? Time to talk and discuss how to deal with this underlying problem.
In a group setting, individuals get strength from others within their group going through similar circumstances. The introduction of group therapy and discussion topics brings a more personalized approach to the healing process allowing individuals a safe place to discuss and learn.
If you or a loved one need help for an addiction and want to know more about treatment programs, feel free to contact us.