Humans are innately social creatures. For millennia, we have naturally assembled in groups and formed families, communities and friendships. We celebrate together during times of happiness and rely on each other for support when we’re feeling vulnerable. Our tendency to come together to face our challenges can be harnessed in group therapy to help individuals struggling with substance use establish healthy relationships and find new ways to heal. Despite advances in clinical technology and neurobiological remedies, simple talk therapy remains one of the most effective tools for treating addiction and mental health disorders such as anxiety or depression. In a group setting, talking about your experiences with others provides a unique opportunity to gain new insights that promote growth and lasting change.
At Journey Hillside Tarzana, group therapy is one of the many ways in which we encourage patients to share their experiences and form connections with their peers. Group therapy reminds patients that they are not alone and provides a safe space in which they can express their thoughts and feelings. Learning to open up in a supportive group setting can be an incredibly healing experience that helps patients process their emotions in a productive way and develop a new understanding of their addiction.
WHAT IS GROUP THERAPY?
Group therapy is a deeply transformational process that harnesses the support network of peers, friends and family to encourage honest self-reflection
Therapist-guided sessions help patients learn how to open up to each other and share their experiences without fear of judgment or shame. This can be an illuminating experience for many, as the objective input of others provides new perspectives that may help you realize how your past behaviors and experiences have affected your loved ones and contributed to your substance use.
ESTABLISH A SOCIAL NETWORK
Group therapy is also a way for patients to establish a social network of recovery-oriented peers and reduce the social isolation they may feel. It shows participants that they are not alone and provides a productive outlet to express their thoughts and emotions. Addiction is a terribly isolating disorder that causes individuals to withdraw from their family and friends; those struggling with substance use may begin to believe that they are unworthy of love or attention and harbor doubts about their ability to relate to others. This often leads to feelings of loneliness and detachment that makes it difficult to form meaningful connections and maintain healthy relationships.
FEEL SUPPORTED AND ACCEPTED
The presence of a group creates an environment where participants feel supported and accepted, allowing them to speak freely about experiences that are difficult to share with friends and family. Once patients begin to open up, they can start to heal their disrupted or dysfunctional connections with others and think critically about the assumptions they hold about themselves, their relationships and others. Throughout the process, group members provide constructive feedback and positive solutions to help each other learn and grow.
GROUP THERAPY AT JOURNEY HILLSIDE TARZANA
Group therapy is a simple concept that provides outstanding results when guided by a skilled, intuitive and professionally-trained therapist. The experience will challenge participants in various ways, but an expert therapist knows how to guide the discussion with empathy and compassion. Each session consists of a small group of patients who work together to share their stories and experiences, express their concerns or struggles, and examine their progress in recovery. The topics discussed often vary, as the participants control the flow of conversation. In a group setting, the therapist’s role is to observe and guide rather than direct. Your therapist will help keep the discussion constructive, but their goal is to help the group connect and find ideas or solutions based on their own experiences.
Relating to others on such a deep, personal level can help patients identify a sense of community or shared purpose that is incredibly beneficial, especially during the early stages of recovery. It’s also helpful for patients to realize that they aren’t alone in their struggle; others with similar stories are facing similar challenges. When your peers succeed in their recovery, it provides encouragement to the rest of the group and serves as a reminder that these challenges can be overcome and that sobriety is possible. This shared sense of experience and camaraderie can’t be replicated by other forms of therapy, making group therapy an essential aspect of the recovery process.
PROFESSIONALLY TRAINED THERAPISTS
At Journey Hillside Tarzana, our professionally-trained therapists specialize in leading group therapy discussions to ensure that each meeting is beneficial and meaningful for all clients involved. We believe in the healing power of groups and communities, working hard to foster healthy relationships between patients and staff that translate to productive and inspiring group therapy sessions. Whether you are comfortable speaking in front of others or not, your peers will support you as you work at a speed that makes sense to you. The goal is to help each patient feel comfortable and confident enough to open up and share their story at a pace that is right for them.
BENEFITS OF GROUP THERAPY
For some, the idea of group therapy can be daunting. The thought of opening up and becoming vulnerable in front of others may be frightening, but trusting your peers with your story is an uplifting experience. As you become more comfortable with your group, your peers will challenge you and provide fresh perspectives that can cast your thoughts, emotions and experiences in a new light. This can be immensely healing, generating personal insight and growth that can help you move forward in recovery.
Other benefits of group therapy include:
- CONFLICT RESOLUTION
- SENSE OF COMMUNITY
- NEW PERSPECTIVES
- RENEWED HOPE
- PEER SUPPORT
- OBJECTIVE FEEDBACK
- IMPROVED SOCIAL SKILLS
- NEW COPING SKILLS
- SHARED EXPERIENCES AND VICTORIES
RECEIVE INPUT FROM OTHERS
By participating in group therapy, patients receive input from others that can help them manage triggers and stressors, overcome obstacles and work through difficult situations in new and healthy ways. Group therapy can also help patients rebuild valuable social skills and restore their emotional literacy. By reinforcing a patient’s ability to be open with others, they can practice the interpersonal communication that will help them be more responsive, honest and articulate in recovery and beyond.
BENEFITS OF INDIVIDUAL THERAPY
The opportunity to work closely and privately with a therapist specializing in addiction has distinct advantages over other treatment modalities. Clients receive the one-on-one attention they need to grow, and sensitive or delicate topics can be discussed that might not be appropriate in a group setting. Individual therapy allows information to be shared without fear of judgment or unsolicited advice. The intimacy of individual therapy also benefits residents who may not feel at ease in a group. Individual therapy can help clients:
- GAIN A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THEMSELVES
- RESOLVE COMPLICATED THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS
- LEARN TO RECOGNIZE HARMFUL THOUGHTS, BEHAVIORS AND PATTERNS
- DISCUSS SENSITIVE ISSUES IN A SAFE, JUDGMENT-FREE SPACE
- PROMOTE A HIGHER DEGREE OF SELF-AWARENESS
- DISCOVER USEFUL COPING STRATEGIES THAT OFFER A HEALTHY APPROACH TO OVERCOMING STRESSORS, TRIGGERS AND OTHER DIFFICULTIES
- MAKE BROAD, LOFTY GOALS (SUCH AS SOBRIETY) MORE MANAGEABLE
- BUILD CONFIDENCE AND SELF-ESTEEM
Although a patient’s outside support network is important, we take great pride in the supportive, recovery-oriented community that we’ve established among the patients in our facility. Our intimate, six-bed residential program ensures a close-knit community founded on mutual respect, trust and friendship. This support network also serves as a source of strength and guidance for our clients while in treatment, especially during those challenging times when relapse feels imminent. Having a peer who understands what you’re going through is invaluable as they can provide insight, perspective and advice that no one else can.
CONTACT JOURNEY HILLSIDE TARZANA
While you’re in treatment, we strive to be your family and guide you throughout your recovery journey. Our goal is to provide each patient with the tools and support they need to dig deep into their substance use and develop lasting bonds that will be valuable in long-term recovery. Located in the hills of Los Angeles, Journey Hillside Tarzana is ready to help you tell your story. Contact or call use today at 877-414-1024 to find more about our signature treatment programs and they can help you or someone you care about.