How to Prepare for Group Therapy on Your Sobriety Journey
Updated: Oct 24
There are a number of strategies that can help addicts on their sobriety journey, but a very important one is group therapy. It’s often used in conjunction with support groups, like AA, and individual therapy.
When you’re entering recovery, you’ll want to know a few things about how to prepare for group therapy. Here are a few things to consider.
Be Open to Different Perspectives in Group Therapy
Group therapy is about sharing your individual experiences in an open, honest, and non-judgmental setting. When you first start group therapy, you might feel inhibited about sharing your story, but usually, as you hear other people share their stories, you’ll feel more comfortable about opening up with yours.
You don’t want other people to judge you, so you also want to avoid judging others. You’ll hear different perspectives that you might not have been exposed to before, but be prepared to support other addicts on their journey. By giving your unconditional support, you will receive the same thing in return.
Be Prepared to Listen Without Interrupting
Like support groups (which are not led by professionals), group therapy involves listening quietly as someone shares their experiences. That can be difficult to do, particularly if your intent is to be supportive.
It’s important, however, because addicts need to share their feelings, their story, and their urges in a setting where they know they will be heard. If someone is constantly interrupting them, they can’t feel as though that person is really hearing them. It also prevents others from hearing their story as well.
Confidentiality is King
Participants in group therapy, just like those who go to AA meetings, are expected to maintain the confidentiality of other group members. The idea behind this is to be able to share your story without fear that it will get back to other people in your life where it might create problems.
If an addict fears that someone will betray their confidentiality, it’s harder for them to be open about their experiences, thoughts, emotions, and cravings. To avoid betraying the confidentiality of other group members, it’s best never to use any names, but that’s not the only thing that’s important.
You also don’t want to give away details about their life that can allow others to identify them. For example, you don’t want to reveal where they work, mutual friends, or details of a story that would allow other people to know who they are.
If you say something like, “One group member, who’s a math teacher at Smith Elementary School, was talking about drinking at work,” you’re giving information that would allow other people to identify that individual even though you didn’t use a name. This can be difficult to do, but consider how important you feel it is to remain anonymous.
Sober Sidekick Complements Group Therapy
Sober Sidekick is an app and social media platform that is made up of more than 150,000 addicts in various stages of recovery. The goal of the platform is to provide users with a peer community that is accessible 24/7 every day of the year.
Using the app, you can join virtual AA meetings day or night, connect with accountability partners and professionals, and get non-judgmental support from community members when you need it the most. You can also remain completely anonymous. Try it today as part of your comprehensive sobriety journey.