Common Misconceptions About Group Therapy
Addiction is a complex disease, and successfully learning to manage it requires applying several different approaches simultaneously. Group therapy can be highly beneficial for recovering addicts, but if you’ve never participated in this type of treatment before, you may be apprehensive or unsure of what to expect. Here, we’ll clear up some of the most prevalent myths and misconceptions about group therapy.
“I always get so anxious about public speaking; there’s no way I’ll ever want to talk in a group setting.”
Many people, even those in leadership roles, experience a fear of expressing their thoughts to a group. However, it’s essential to remember that the other members have been through many of the same experiences as you have, and are there for similar reasons. You may be uncomfortable speaking up in the first couple of sessions, but you’ll likely find the compassionate and supportive environment eventually helps you feel relaxed enough to talk about your feelings.
“The group members will expect me to share all my most private thoughts.”
It’s entirely up to you what you share and when you do so. Nobody is there to force you into talking about things you’d rather keep to yourself. Hearing what the other members choose to convey can also help you decide how much of your innermost self to reveal, and how much you want to keep confidential. The more involved you become, the more likely you are to reap the rewards.
“Group counseling isn’t as effective as one-on-one counseling.”
Group and individual therapy work in tandem to help you explore the underlying causes of your addiction, as well as to prevent a relapse – which will prove especially crucial in the vulnerable first year of recovery. Remember, your counselor would not have recommended group therapy unless they believed it would help you meet your goals. One unique benefit of group therapy is that it gives you a built-in peer group of people who will provide their honest feedback about your self-destructive thoughts and feelings. This phenomenon is rare outside a therapeutic setting, even among friends and family who have your best interests at heart.
“People will judge or belittle me.”
This misconception about group therapy is one of the most harmful. Group leaders have specific training in how to create a safe, supportive environment that enables all members to grow and thrive. As you begin to build a foundation of trust with your fellow members, you’ll feel more comfortable giving and receiving honest feedback. Don’t lose sight of the fact that the people in a 12-step recovery group are all working toward the shared goal of lasting sobriety, which gives you common ground.
“My family and friends provide enough support for my needs.”
Regardless of how understanding and loving your friends and family might be, you may discover you can’t always talk to them about everything. For example, you might hold back from expressing complex emotions such as grief, anger or guilt because you don’t want to hurt their feelings. It’s also possible your friends’ and family’s opinions may not be especially helpful when you’re going through a rough patch and need extra encouragement.
Start Your Recovery at Beach House
Don’t let the myths about group therapy prevent you from seeking the treatment you need to make a fresh start in life. At Beach House, our caring and compassionate culture, coupled with our commitment to providing evidence-based treatment, provides our clients with the best chances of succeeding in long-term recovery. We have an industry-leading 7-to-1 therapist-to-client ratio, which ensures highly personalized attention to individual needs, even in a group therapy setting. To learn more about accredited addiction treatment in Florida, contact our admissions counselors 24 hours a day, seven days a week.