Substance use counseling is a part of any effective, comprehensive addiction treatment program, including group sessions. While patients have regular one-on-one sessions while working towards recovery, attending group therapy is also highly encouraged. Group counseling involves a designated amount of people in treatment and recovery and a specialized substance use counselor who guides the overall discussion and creates a safe space for people to discuss their feelings and thoughts.
Still, many people feel intimidated by the idea of sitting around an assembly of strangers while sharing their stories and vulnerabilities. Preparing for these meetings by overviewing some common topics of discussion can help calm any jitters before attending and reaping the immense benefits of these group substance use counseling sessions.
Unresolved trauma is one of the most common factors leading people to misuse substances and eventually develop substance use disorder. Masking the pain and hurt from the past with drugs and alcohol can lead many people to have trouble opening up and speaking about their experiences. Group settings tend to help those reluctant to share once they see the empathy and support from other members. Talking about past trauma can also be a significant step towards overcoming and healing, making these exercises incredibly valuable.
Addiction is a family disease, as it affects every household member in its own way, not just the user. Group counseling sessions allow people to share their familial struggles with peers who are likely dealing with similar situations. Not only is it cathartic to vent about conflicts with loved ones, but receiving well-intentioned advice or feedback from a non-biased listener can provide helpful insight for potential resolutions.
Relapse prevention is always at the forefront of recovery counseling, and speaking on triggers with a group of people who understand just how complex they can be is reassuring. Members often discuss overcoming specific triggers, successful methods for overcoming negative thinking, and strategies for avoiding potentially triggering situations. These types of sessions often resemble a workshop, particularly when the counselor gives members exercises that require critical thinking and honest reflection.
An overwhelming amount of people in addiction recovery live with deep-rooted guilt about the things they’ve said and done due to their illness. When they were still using, they could not see how much they were hurting their friends and loved ones, but with a clear head in treatment, they now face some harsh realities. While patients work to mend their relationships, group counseling also focuses on forgiving one’s self in order to promote personal growth and progress.
One of the greatest aspects of group counseling is hearing people’s recovery stories. Whether it’s someone’s first or tenth attempt at long-lasting sobriety, the tale they have to tell can serve as inspiration for their peers. Having a group of people with diverse backgrounds and challenges helps members evaluate their own stories while learning about what others have gone through while walking along a similar journey.
Middlesex Recovery offers addiction treatment for anyone struggling with drug and alcohol misuse using evidence-based methods. With the help of medical providers and substance use counselors, every patient is given the tools to maximize their chances of reaching recovery and achieving long-term success. To learn more about the programs available, message or call a Middlesex Recovery office today.