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Pros and Cons of Starting Group Therapy in Detox

Group therapy is a common feature of rehab. It has proven effective for a range of mental health issues including addiction. While some phase of your recovery will likely include group therapy, here are some considerations to help you decide whether you should begin group therapy during detox.

Pros

You realize you’re not the only one struggling. When you’re in the midst of withdrawal symptoms, especially if you are in an unfamiliar place, you may feel isolated, as if you are enduring the discomfort alone. Being in a group of people facing similar challenges can make you feel less alone.

For many people, seeing others suffer can lessen their preoccupation with their own suffering. Helping others deal with their pain is also good for your self-esteem. That’s especially important at a time when you’re feeling low and could use a win.

You see the progress of other members. This might be more dramatic later, when your group might include members who are farther along in their recovery. Detox only lasts about seven days and many rehab programs last about a month. Even in these comparatively short timeframes, it can be helpful to talk to people who have made it past the rough first days.

You learn to correct distorted thinking. When you’re alone with your therapist and she tells you your thinking is distorted, it’s easy to say, “Well, that’s your opinion.” When a room full of people–people in the same boat as you–agree that your thinking is distorted, you have to take it seriously. A group may also bring an assortment of different perspectives to bear on your problems, ways of looking at things you might never have thought of.

Cons

If you’re in detox you may be very irritable. Agitation and irritability are among the most common withdrawal symptoms for many drugs. If you feel especially irritable, it can be hard to deal with other people and even harder to deal with them supportively. You may need to wait until the irritability abates for group therapy to be productive.

You may have particular concerns about confidentiality. Group therapy is confidential and group members appreciate the need to keep each other’s confidence. Still, some things may be too difficult to discuss with other people. Sometimes paranoia from withdrawal can exaggerate this concern.

It may not be helpful for you. While many people respond positively to group therapy, everyone is different. You may do better in individual therapy. You can always try again later.

The Serenity Recovery Center at Encino Medical Hospital is offering your loved ones a new way to begin their journey of recovery. Excellent clinical care, medical management, and the highest levels of comfort are our priority at Serenity. Call us today for information: 866.294.9401