Group therapy can help you heal collectively. By sharing your experiences with others who may have had similar situations or coping mechanisms, you can not only grow together but also learn a lot about yourself in the process. Overall, group therapy should be a time for creating connections and fostering community.
One of the downsides of group therapy includes the possibility of projecting one individual’s experience onto someone else in the group. For example, when someone is asked at the beginning of a session about self-harm or suicidal ideation, you may have thoughts come up that were never there before. This is a moment when it is crucial to either acknowledge these thoughts as true and seek help at this time, or discount these notions as false in your situation and simply a projection of another person’s experience — set up boundaries between yourself and what you consume in a group setting so others’ problems don’t become your own. Likewise, don’t make presumptions that your experience and someone else’s are identical.
Not Everything Applies
Remember that you are not the therapist. You do not have to participate in the parts of group therapy that do not apply to you. Leave it to the group leader to direct the conversation in a manner that makes everyone feel included and safe.
Find Your Strengths and Weaknesses
One of the pros of group therapy is that you can learn your strengths and weaknesses in a team-like environment. Group therapy centers on the notion of healing together. Acknowledging that everyone brings individual experiences to the setting clears the way for radical acceptance. While two people can struggle with similar addictions, they have very unique paths and different routes to recovery. Having others who understand, but do not overstep, their role as a support network is vital. Group therapy, when done effectively, offers exactly that service.
You will notice both similarities and differences with other members of your group therapy sessions. Identifying and validating each of those varied approaches is part of your journey to recovery. When you are fully able to look at yourself and others in a non-judgemental fashion, you have made significant personal progress.
Group therapy has both pros and cons. When you are equipped with the right tools to navigate the space, you can experience many benefits from the process. To learn more about if group therapy may be an appropriate option for you, try Valiant Living. At Valiant Living, we understand how to treat people suffering from addiction and co-occurring mental health issues. At our men-only facility located in the Denver area, we can help you get connected to the resources you need. Call us today to find out how we can help at (303) 952-5035.