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How Does Group Therapy Help People Process Their Own Pain?


Group therapy sessions can be successful for those in recovery from trauma and addiction. Most 12-Step recovery programs were founded upon the principles that make group therapy work. The initial idea behind programs like “Alcoholics Anonymous” was that relating to others with the same struggles can advance the recovery progress of each individual in the group.

Support groups of all kinds exist, ranging from anxiety and grief support to over-eaters and gambling addiction groups. Group therapy, however, takes the concepts of support groups and merges them with traditional talk therapy.

Group therapy sessions are usually led by a trained therapist. Much like individual, one-on-one therapy, the first few sessions are focused upon building rapport and comfort. These initial sessions are usually facilitated primarily by the therapist to introduce each member of the group.

As individual members of the group build trust with one another, they begin to open up more and more about their experiences with trauma or addiction. The therapist may continue to guide the conversations; however, the members of the group direct the conversational material and topics of discussion. Overall, the role of the therapist is to direct the flow of conversation, monitor feedback among peers, and initiate the group process.

Group therapy provides similar benefits to individual therapy, such as processing feelings and gaining coping skills. Group therapy, however, has the additional benefit of helping the person in recovery establish a sense of community among peers. Each individual also learns how to give constructive feedback and encouragement to their peers in recovery.

Connecting with others through shared experiences can help each member feel less lonely and isolated in their emotional pain. You also get the benefit of learning from multiple people dealing with similar situations. The group process in therapy can help us discover new perspectives in our own recovery.

One of the many symptoms of addiction and trauma are the negative feelings of isolation and loneliness that can occur. We may feel like others do not understand what we have been through. We may also unintentionally push others out of our lives due to our behavior. Remember that you are not alone! Others have gone through similar issues and are ready to share their experiences with you to help you heal. Connect with others like you at The Guest House by calling (855) 483-7800 today about our recovery programs!