The Benefits And Shortcomings Of Group Therapy For Addiction

Addiction treatment has come a long way in recent years. Now, there are more options than ever before for those seeking to recover from an addiction to drugs or alcohol. One common option is group therapy. This form of therapy can work really well for many patients, but it does also have some drawbacks worth pondering before you sign up. You can review both the upsides and downsides of group therapy for addiction below.

Pro: You won't feel so alone.

Addiction is a disease that can make you feel very isolated and lonely. Group therapy can help with this. You will be surrounded by people who have similar struggles to your own and can truly relate to what you're going through. Simply knowing you're not alone can set you up for a successful recovery.

Con: The whole session won't focus on you.

There may be things that come up during group therapy that are not as relevant to your own personal situation as they are to others in the group. There can still be some benefit to listening and supporting others in these situations. However, it can make some patients feel like they're getting less from the sessions than they would from private sessions.

Pro: You'll make friends who can continue to support you.

People who work together in group therapy can become close very quickly. There's a good chance you'll make friends during your group therapy sessions, and those friends will become people you can depend on even after therapy is over. It will be nice to have an understanding shoulder to lean on once you move past therapy and continue to navigate life as a recovered addict. 

Con: You may not get along with everyone.

While you'll likely meet people who you really bond with during group therapy, you may also meet some people you do not get along with so well. Managing personality conflicts is a good skill to develop, but sometimes people don't feel up to juggling these conflicts while also healing from addiction.

Pro: You'll grow in understanding about your own addiction.

Sometimes, it can be really tough to voice or put into words how you feel about something or why you do something. But when you hear someone else describe it in group therapy, it may "click." You can therefore grow in understanding of your own addiction and discover better ways to describe it to family and friends.

Group therapy is not for everyone, but it is a common addiction recovery treatment for a reason — it works for many. Give it a try, contact a group therapy opportunity near you, and see how you like it.