Alcoholism is a brain disease that can actually damage your brain over the long term and alter the way it functions. If you’re one of approximately 14.5 million people aged 12 and up in the United States who suffer from alcoholism, you may experience symptoms such as:
- Slower than normal reaction times
- Slurred speech
- Trouble walking or with other motor skills
- Taking risks
- Acting impulsively
- Impaired memory
Luckily, abstaining from alcohol and making healthy lifestyle changes can halt brain damage from alcoholism and can even reverse it. Abstaining from alcohol isn’t easy, though. Because alcohol has altered the way your brain works, it may be almost impossible to quit without support, guidance, new behaviors, and medications that help you break the addiction.
At The Soho Center for Mental Health in Greenwich Village, New York City, New York, our expert and caring counselors offer both individual counseling for an alcohol substance abuse disorder and group therapy to treat alcoholism. Here’s how group therapy helps and why it may be the best choice for you to regain control over your life.
Community is a human need
One of the reasons that group therapy succeeds in helping break the cycle of addiction is that you’re no longer dealing with your disease by yourself. Human beings are by nature social animals who help one another achieve goals, overcome challenges, and feel nurtured and loved.
Group therapy for alcoholism is led by an experienced counselor who teaches you new behaviors and coping strategies so that you can break your addiction to alcohol. You go through this experience with the other group members, too.
Over time, you share in other’s successes and support each other during the bad days. You also inspire one another as you learn and grow. Some advantages to group therapy include:
- Reduced isolation
- Witness others’ recovery
- Culture of recovery and hope
- Positive reinforcement
- Models positive relationships you can transfer to other areas of your life
- Gives insights, tips, and guidance
- Provides positive affiliation and identification
You can also feel free to fully express your own emotions, frustrations, hopes, and fears in a safe atmosphere. A group also provides a form of positive peer pressure that helps you abstain from alcohol.
You learn and change together
Often, women and men who develop substance use disorders — including alcoholism — have experienced trauma and may have negative experiences within their families or other social groups.
In contrast, group therapy allows you to witness and experience positive relationships and ways of getting your needs met that you can transfer to other areas of your life. In essence, you use the group to practice your new skills and verify your insights in real time as you build confidence in your abilities.
Your counselor may use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) while leading and guiding the group. Some of the skills you learn and practice together in your group may include:
- Emotional regulation
- Distress tolerance
- Interpersonal effectiveness
- Healthy coping strategies
- Repairing relationships
One of the strongest benefits of group therapy for alcoholism, however, is that you’re more likely to remain abstinent and reach your potential when you have the support of a group as well as a counselor.
Reverse your course, and work toward an addiction-free life with group therapy to treat your alcoholism. You can make an appointment by using either our online form or calling our knowledgeable staff today. Teletherapy via a secure online portal is also an option we’re pleased to offer.