Group therapy can give you answers
Rocky McKnight, Help Me Stop Treatment Service Manager and addiction therapist, writes about the nature of addiction, a compulsive and profoundly anti-social disorder, and how ‘pro-social’ group therapy brings about addiction recovery. For a confidential chat about affordable face-to-face rehab or online rehab for alcohol addiction or drug addiction, contact Help Me Stop here or call us directly on 0208 191 9191 (London Rehab/Online Rehab) or 01962 217 090 (Winchester in Hampshire Rehab).
Addiction to alcohol or drugs is a deeply painful and massively disruptive form of mental ill health
As you might have experienced, addiction can lead to (or be driven by) forms of thinking and behaviour that are so irrational or destructive that they become deeply disorientating for both the compulsive user, and for their loved ones around them. Think of the family member who has to watch as the self-destructive drinker continues with, and even defends, a relationship to alcohol that is killing them.
Why does this happen? Why do people continue with patterns of behaviour that are self-evidently not good for them? Beginning the process of finding out is a part of recovery. By discovering why we do what we do, we can begin to change it. And the best way to discover things about ourselves is through other people, by thinking about and engaging with what they see and feel. That’s one of the reasons why nearly all addiction recovery is done in groups: fellowship meetings; group therapy sessions; and psych-educational workshops.
How group therapy works to reconnect people to themselves and others
It is also the case that addiction is a profoundly anti-social disorder. Under its influence, people isolate themselves from others, behave in hurtful and alienating ways, and begin to lose touch with our shared reality. Group therapy is the quite simply the quickest and most effective way to begin reversing this process: it is profoundly pro-social. We learn to listen to others, to identify with them and to learn from them, about ourselves and about them. It becomes a virtuous circle whereby we learn to see ourselves through others eyes and vice-versa, developing a sense that there is a satisfying and meaningful world outside ourselves that we are part of.
This sense of shutting oneself off from the world is characteristic of addiction. In many ways alcohol abuse and drug abuse is a way of managing the stress of defending oneself in this way. So it follows that in order to stop using alcohol and drugs, we need to both start reintroducing ourselves to the world and to find other ways of managing the stress of doing so. Group therapy does both: it acts as microcosm of the world, a place where we can practise getting to know people, and allowing them to know us, in a safe and secure environment; and it is a place where we can begin to learn to express how difficult and demanding that can be: we can learn to talk about how difficult we find it to talk about ourselves.
In this way, group therapy is ‘training in action.’ And once we have begun to get the hang of it, we can take it into all the other groups that we are members of: families; workplaces; social networks; society itself. All of the places, in fact, that addiction very often cuts us off from. Group therapy and addiction: a working solution to an unworkable problem.
Affordable, Intensive, Treatment for Addiction in London, Hampshire and Online
- Get in touch to find out more about our rehab programmes.
- Help Me Stop offers face-to-face, non-residential treatment in our London Dayhab and our Winchester Rehab, as well as our Online Rehab programme (available to clients across the UK and overseas).
- Call 0208 191 9191 (London Rehab/Online Rehab), 01962 217 090 (Winchester Rehab), message us on live chat or contact us here.
- We offer fast access within days to our programme.
- Your confidential addiction assessment is free, and if we’re not the right place for you, we’ll help to signpost you other services.
- Our programmes are affordable with no compromise on quality or care.
- You’ll recover along side peers who want the same thing as you, guided by an expert team of psychotherapists who have been there themselves.