When thinking about the idea of group therapy, it may seem like a scary concept to some and to others, it may not seem worthwhile. However, when battling substance use disorders (SUDs), it may actually be more helpful than you think. Often, those living life with SUDs don’t only have that singular problem, in fact, they may be numerous; everyone knows that life is hard and can be difficult to navigate at times. Many people going through the same issues with substance use as you have compounding difficulties such as mental health issues, typically termed “comorbidities.” This means that there can be underlying issues behind SUDs such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or autism spectrum disorder, among many others. Therefore, when working to get yourself into recovery and overcome your SUD, it may be helpful to be a part of group therapy in order to work through other remaining issues as well. Learning how to manage other disorders is going to be a large part of being successful in moving forward with you
r life in a positive direction. In fact, author Beth Orenstein notes that many practitioners who lead group therapy often find that many participants get more out of the sessions than they ever thought possible.
During the process of going from using substances to entering and maintaining recovery, it will be extremely helpful to have a repertoire of skills to utilize should a situation arise where you feel like you may revert to old habits. First and foremost, during these sessions, you will have a support system that have been through similar experiences as yourself. The ability to relate to others will reassure you that you’re not alone, whether it is with handling your SUD or other psychological comorbidities. Learning how to be receptive to those who want to help you is key to furthering your own betterment. If you are someone who faces anxiety finds it hard to open up about it or has a hard time feeling as though anyone else knows what you’re going through, group therapy will surely show you the opposite. Communication skills are one benefit to participating in group therapy because you learn how to talk to other people and express yourself in a way that works for you. Not to mention, overcoming the fear of talking to strangers can greatly help those with anxiety to be able to speak with others more comfortably. This is just one example, but the benefits are expansive when it comes to group therapy as a tool for substance use or mental health.
Not only can group therapy help you to work through current and unresolved issues but it can also help you to improve your mindset and see things from perspectives other than your own. You may feel as though you are the only one going through your specific situation, however, participation in group therapy will show you that that’s not the case. More than that, it will show you that everyone sees things differently and that not everyone handles situations the same. While you may feel overwhelmed or hopeless about your situation, there are others who have been there who have been able to move past those feelings and come out on the other side. Taking the time to listen to what others have to say can not only give you the opportunity to learn new coping mechanisms or have someone to talk to, it can help change your mindset altogether. This will be important for moving forward in life, getting your mind healthy so that the rest of you can be healthy too.
Despite group therapy being something that you do with other people, the person who will benefit the most from the experience is you. You have the opportunity to grow and blossom which is something to take advantage of. During this type of therapy, you can use the experiences of others to look at yourself and see how resilient you are and recognize that not all of the choices that you’ve made are bad. Even though you’re going through something hard right now, you are stronger than your situation. You will also recognize that you have what it takes to fight and take your life back and to come out on top. Learning how to help yourself and accept help from others will allow you to one day be a guiding force to someone else, and that’s a beautiful thing to be a part of.
When the time comes that you decide that you are ready to leave substance use behind and move on to better things is the perfect time to do so. You are probably aware that your whole life will change, but in many cases, change is for the better. Despite having reservations and fears about what the future will look like for yourself, know that it can only get better from here. To find your true self, call us today at (805)719-7954.