Of the many different components of an addiction treatment program, group therapy is often the one many participants find to be the most helpful step to recovery. While they sometimes also find it to be the most challenging part of treatment, they look back at their experiences in group therapy and the connections they made and see just how instrumental they were in helping them recover. 

Group Therapy and Support

Struggling with addiction can cause us to feel alone in the world, battling demons that we assume no one can understand, healing from traumas we’re alone in facing, and living with unforgivable secrets. In recovery, however, we discover that we’re not alone. We’re joined by countless other people facing the same struggles. One of the best ways to feel less alone and to join those other people experiencing similar challenges is with group therapy. We find friends who can identify with us and our histories. The supportiveness of a group can be a source of comfort as we heal. 

Learning From Others

Many addiction treatment facilities include group therapy as part of their treatment programs. At Athens Area Commencement Center, group therapy is the “heart and soul” of the work we do. Sharing ourselves with other people helps us to heal. Being with other people can bring us hope when we feel hopeless. From other people’s resilience and determination, we learn not to give up on ourselves. The inspiration and motivation we gain from other people and their experiences can be the fuel that keeps us going.

Group Therapy and Co-Occurring Conditions

One of the many important elements of group therapy is the opportunity it gives us to address our “co-occurring health conditions.” These are the conditions, whether related to our mental health or our physical health, that can accompany our addictions. When struggling with addiction, we experience not only the substance use itself but also all of the emotional pain that comes with it. Depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders are common in those of us living with addiction. 

We can also struggle with physical health problems related to substance use and our mental and emotional health challenges, for example, insomnia, eating disorders, and chronic pain. When we take part in group therapy, we learn about not only our addictions but all the other co-occurring conditions we’re dealing with. 

A Holistic Approach to Health

These other conditions, which can seem to us to be unrelated to our addictions, are often inextricably linked to them. Our other health conditions might have contributed to our addictions, or they might have resulted from them. We might have developed them simultaneously through unhealthy ways of coping with our emotions or from living with unhealed trauma. 

Addressing our health holistically in group therapy by facing not only our substance use but all our health conditions gives us an even greater chance at a successful recovery. With group therapy, we’re working to unearth the deeper problems that have contributed to our addictions. We’re learning more about ourselves and the different aspects of our illnesses. 

Group therapy allows us to look at all the connections between our addictions and the other health challenges we experience. We can also learn from the experiences of the people we’re in the community with. With the support of that community, we can approach our recovery in a holistic way, continuously learning and examining all of the many interconnected aspects involved.

Group Therapy and Healing From the Past

Undertaking the recovery process can be daunting, and therapy can be overwhelming. Doing the important internal work to recover can be especially difficult when we’re looking at the pain of the past. The support of a group can make the difference between feeling alone in therapy, reliving our traumas by ourselves, and feeling the comfort and warmth of a group of people all working to heal, with all of us having the same goal of sobriety. 

Coming Out of Self-Isolation

In group therapy, we discover just how much we have in common being in recovery. Many of us have isolated ourselves for years and have felt so alone with our grief. We have felt burdened by feelings of guilt and shame that we assume no one else feels or can understand. Very often, we’re ostracized in our communities and plagued by the stigmas surrounding addiction. 

Everything we’ve had such a hard time sharing with other people over the years becomes the things that bond us in group therapy. We’ve experienced so many of the same traumas. Our regrets and wounds are often the same. We can heal from the past in a safe, supportive space with people who understand us and our lives because we are the same.

Group Therapy and Recovery in Real Time

Therapy is about more than revisiting the past in order to heal from it. Group therapy can also help us analyze the current circumstances that are actively impacting our lives. We can process our recovery in real time. With group therapy, we can look at the common triggers many of us share that cause us to turn to substances. 

Group Therapy and Moving Forward

As a group, we look at our successes and our setbacks together. We learn together and benefit from everything each of us has experienced individually. In group therapy, we also become a supportive unit, moving forward collectively with the common goal of staying strong in our recovery. At Athens Area Commencement Center, we’ve found group therapy to be one of the most important elements of our treatment programs, as it helps people not only to get sober but also to stay healthy moving forward with the support of the community.

Group therapy is the heart and soul of our treatment programs at Athens Area Commencement Center. Making the choice to recover and staying the course of recovery are challenges that can be faced when doing the work within a supportive group. If you’re struggling with addiction, please know you’re not alone. There is a supportive community here at Athens Area Commencement Center ready to provide you with the help you need whenever you’re ready to ask for it. You have so much to teach other people with your unique life experience, and you’ll find you can learn a lot from the friends you’ll make here, as well as the staff dedicated to supporting you. Call (706) 546-7355 for more information.

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