The Benefits of Group Therapy

December 12, 2022

Written By: Buena Vista Recovery

Each individual will have their journey in addiction recovery. Likewise, each path to overcoming the use of drugs, alcohol, or co-occurring mental health disorders will be unique. Being able to individualize recovery strategies to fit personal needs is essential. One of the most common and effective recovery options is group therapy. While it is common to have reservations about engaging in group therapy, there are countless benefits that it can have on an individual’s recovery process. Exploring these benefits can encourage individuals to take advantage of this instrumental treatment resource.

What Is Group Therapy?

Group therapy involves meeting with like-minded peers to discuss the challenges of recovery. This may involve talking honestly about personal experiences and developing relevant skills for sobriety. Groups are typically kept small to allow each person time to share their voice and thoughts. Sessions are led by trained professionals ready to guide the conversation and introduce new perspectives and strategies to effectively help participants navigate recovery.

Group therapy is common across each stage of recovery, from detox and residential care to long-term outpatient programs. Individuals may meet others who are in a similar stage of recovery or who have personal experiences in overcoming the challenges of sobriety. Talking with others who are also in recovery can help individuals adapt new strategies for their sober journey. Group therapy is often used in conjunction with other therapeutic practices, creating a well-rounded approach to meet individualized needs in recovery.

The Barriers to Group Therapy

It is common for individuals who are new to recovery or looking for new resources to further their sober efforts to have reservations about opening up about their journey with addiction. Addiction can bring intense feelings of depression, guilt, shame, and more. Likewise, it can be exceptionally difficult to discuss such sensitive topics. Some people may not feel comfortable with the emotional vulnerability that comes with addressing such intense emotions. Others may be open to the idea of sharing their perspective across their journey with addiction, but may not feel a particular connection to a specific group for various reasons.

Having a group with peers, including people of similar age, gender, or personal experience, is crucial for creating an open and effective atmosphere in group therapy. It may help to ask about particular demographics, such as the size of any given group therapy group. Likewise, it may help to discuss any other personal barriers that may exist when trying to find the most effective group for an individual’s recovery journey.

Making the Most of Your Time in Group Therapy

Group therapy is a touted and effective approach to recovery for many reasons. Overcoming barriers can be wholly transformational for many throughout their recovery journey. Understanding the unique advantages that group therapy provides can help each person approach group therapy with the right mindset and expectations.

Embrace New Perspectives

Group therapy gives voice to those who have lived through the challenges of addiction and recovery. Each individual will have their own unique journey and perspective regarding the effects and consequences of addiction. Likewise, each person will share unique recovery strategies that have benefited them along the way. It is common for those struggling with addiction to feel isolated in their journey. Engaging in group therapy can empower those in recovery to understand and sympathize with other people’s experiences. In turn, it can create a more comprehensive, rounded plan for one’s own sober future.

Learn and Practice Social Skills

Social skills are important throughout any stage of one’s recovery journey. Learning to talk about addiction and best express the complexities of one’s journey, needs, and goals all are incredibly important. Having a safe space to practice communication and normalize talking about these topics can be essential for effective recovery.

Some may also embrace social skills to repair key relationships that may have become strained throughout one’s journey with addiction. Practicing new communication strategies to employ with one’s family, spouse, or close friends can all help an individual continue to focus on their sobriety and relationships even outside the walls of a dedicated treatment facility.

Utilize New Strategies

Just as group therapy can instill new perspectives, it can also ensure that those in recovery never feel stagnant in their journey. Talking with peers and professionals about their experiences and practices means learning and adapting others’ proven, effective strategies for one’s own daily life.

For some, this can be embracing new grounding strategies or coping techniques for navigating the direct effects of urges and cravings. Others may embrace new approaches to self-care that can facilitate a healthy lifestyle and maintain one’s motivation throughout recovery. Having access to individuals with their own practices can allow those in recovery to select the most effective strategies for themselves while being constantly exposed to new ideas and strategies.

Strengthen Accountability

Accountability is a major part of recovery. While exploring self-forgiveness and practicing forgiveness of others is essential, those in sobriety are still accountable for their actions. Group therapy can instill an atmosphere of honesty that can permeate an individual’s daily life. This can foster greater accountability for an individual’s behaviors and successes in recovery.


We at Buena Vista are prepared to help you create your own best approach to recovery and sobriety. We offer an array of programs designed to meet you at any stage of your recovery journey, from medical detox and medication-assisted treatment to residential and intensive outpatient programs. Our effective use of group therapy programs can connect you to like-minded peers and supportive professionals, all while exploring your personal needs and goals in recovery. We believe group therapy is paramount for lasting recovery from addiction. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction and are ready to take the first step toward a healthier, sober future, call to speak to us today at (480) 741-9414.