“People who abuse substances often are more likely to remain abstinent and committed to recovery when treatment is provided in groups, apparently because of rewarding and therapeutic forces such as affiliation, confrontation, support, gratification, and identification.”
– Center for Substance Abuse Treatment
In the context of alcohol and drug treatment, social recovery groups have a profound impact on participants. These groups, to be successful, must be led by trained therapists with guided goals and objectives. Congregating in such groups enhances the impact of therapy, since gathering together is a natural human instinct. Here are some of the ways in which studies by the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment have shown that social recovery groups are effective substance abuse treatment tools:
Group therapy sessions, by nature, reduce factors that can reinforce the need for addiction—factors like depression, isolation and shame. And, in groups, more participants can be treated at one time. This means it’s not only an efficient practice, but it’s the most holistic healing therapy for clients in treatment facilities. The mentality that resonates is that “we’re all in the same boat.” Difficult moments in the recovery process can be shared instead of internalized, and group members become cheerleaders for others, focusing therapy both inward and outward.
Encourage Positive Reinforcement from Peers
Participants in social recovery groups can see how others have been successful. They can learn tips, ideas and strategies for success from those who have been in their shoes. Seeing someone succeed at something is a powerful motivator, and honest relationships can be developed from others who are encouraging them to do their best to work through their recovery process.
Participants in group therapy can work through and actually resolve issues that led to substance abuse in the first place—this is the power of expressive therapy. Confrontation plays a big role here. Admitting mistakes and overcoming denial is encouraged through self-expression and group support.
Teach New Social Skills
Recovery groups help participants resolve fears of real-world intrapersonal relationships,. After a likely past of rocky or failed relationships, group sessions can help clients build the skills necessary to build and maintain real relationships. Group sessions are a way of providing practice for interacting and connecting with others in a substance-free environment. And, social recovery groups can also create an environment of structure and discipline for those undergoing treatment. For participants who have struggled with the chaos of substance abuse, that structure can be a powerful experience and confidence-booster for the transition to the world outside the treatment facility.
To learn more about the social recovery groups offered at the Genesis Project, please give us a call—confidentially—at (408) 500-6229.