Rosemary admits that she’s always been somewhat skeptical about group therapy and recovery. She’s heard all the stories of people sharing their feelings. That doesn’t make it sound any easier. It wasn’t until Rosemary hit rock bottom that she truly understood the value of seeking help from her fellows.
Everyone’s bottom is different. Rosemary’s came after she was arrested for drunk driving. She couldn’t believe the humiliation. She thought it was bad enough that the officer slapped cuffs on her. It was even worse when her husband refused to come get her from the police station.
It didn’t seem fair that Rosemary’s husband let her sit in jail. But, he had warned his wife that she was drinking too much. He was devastated that she got behind the wheel. Thankfully she didn’t get involved in an accident.
Rosemary never thought she would be one of “those people”. The person that had to sit in a room with strangers and talk about her feelings, or worse, had to listen to their’s. Nevertheless, she knew it was time. She needed help.
The decision to go to an inpatient rehab was a difficult one. Rosemary’s condition was pretty bad and she needed to detox. The facility insisted that once she was medically stable, she begin attending their group therapy sessions. Rosemary had no desire to hear other people’s problems. And, she had no desire to speak about her own issues.
To Rosemary’s surprise, she found comfort in the group sessions. She was surrounded by other people who felt powerless over their addiction to alcohol. Rosemary sat quietly in the beginning, but then realized it felt good to open up. The other group members understood. After all, they were going through similar challenges. To this day, Rosemary attends regular AA meetings. She works actively with a sponsor and is a part of a home group. Today, recovery is Rosemary’s first priority.
Group Therapy and Recovery
Rosemary isn’t alone in questioning the role of group therapy and recovery. Many feel threatened with the prospect of opening up to total strangers. Twelve step programs have worked for decades now.
Let’s take a look at a training guide for addiction counselors. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides directives for Group Therapy as a Treatment Improvement Protocol. Here are some of the advantages discussed:
- Group Therapy is a powerful tool; sometimes it is more effective than Individual Therapy
- A Good Leader can lead a group with similar issues, helping them to relate better
- Group sessions help people with not just substance abuse issues, but other accompanying mental health problems
- Group therapy creates a support system that might be otherwise lacking
- Addicts have the opportunity to see that others have found a way to work towards sobriety
If you or a loved one is facing addiction issues with either drugs or alcohol, Clearbrook offers the chance to find recovery. Our staff and counselors recognize the many challenges. Even if this isn’t the first attempt at sobriety, we can help. Contact us today for more information.