If you are fond of myths and legends or just a fan of internet and computer games, you might be familiar with the serpent or dragon called Lernaean Hydra. A saying once goes: “Two heads are better than one.” But the Lernaean Hydra does not seem to be contented with just two. With a huge body of a water dragon living in a swamp near Lerna, the creature look down upon its prey with five up to a hundred heads, each of which have fatally venomous breath. Its blood and fangs also contain venom as poisonous as its breath. It was believed that when one cuts off a head, two will grow in its place. Talk about a super villain for a super hero!
A Hydra’s head may be different from each other, each having a personality of its own, but it is a fact that these heads share the same body thus sharing the same heart, stomach, limbs and of course, weakness. Just like a Hydra, people suffering from the same addiction have the same circumstances, trials and tribulations but they just wear different heads and live different lives. This is why psychotherapists encourage a therapy called the group therapy.
What is group therapy?
Group therapy is a kind of psychotherapy wherein a therapist or more works with three to twelve individuals who share the same predicament, may it be diseases, sickness, problems, addiction and more. It is sometimes used on your own and it can also be integrated into your comprehensive treatment plans. It is a style of therapy that is made available in hospitals, community centers, mental health clinics and other variety of locations. Group therapy is more than healing; it is a process in which participants miraculously get healed with the use of interactions and the encouragements that patients receive from each other most especially from within the group.
What is the principle behind group therapy?
Individuals in a group therapy session are given a room to share their stories and in this small interaction, patients can gain something from each other. This is especially useful for addiction rehabilitation. In seeking a way to recover from addictions, it is important that drug users feel no sentiments of rejection from the society around him or her as it is important to remind the patient he or she is never alone in their road to treatment. When this type of therapy is utilized in one’s addiction rehabilitation, patients are then beginning to:
1. Instill hope to one another
Patients who are on their road to complete recovery provide hope to those who are still on their first days and attempts to healing and rehabilitation.
2. Feel accompanied
When you hear someone is suffering the same way as you are and is also on the road of addiction rehabilitation, you cannot feel anything but relief because of the fact that someone is also sharing the same journey with you.
3. Learn from each other
Because you are like Hydras with different heads but the same circumstances, you start to learn from one another, to acquire knowledge you have not known and to share information that would be of use to other people sharing the same conditions.
4. Become selfless
Sharing among group members and helping them cope with the situations that boost your self-esteem and confidence. In this way, you may not tend to think selfishly about your state since everyone in the group is suffering the same.
5. Have a sense of belongingness
Being in a group therapy allows people to feel like family and encloses a sense of belongingness. It helps build relationship among strangers and most especially your relationship towards yourself.
6. Acquire socialization
Having been given the chance to share your journey towards people who share the same fate allows you to increase your odds of socializing with other people because of your eagerness to learn from them and at the same time, their eagerness to learn from you.
7. Look up to someone or be admired
Sharing life stories allows yourself to admire the person who had given you the hope to continue your rehabilitation and it is also probable that someone in the group share the same feelings of admiration only that it is not directed towards the person you look up to but to you.
8. Gain self-understanding
When you hear stories from others, you begin to understand your predicament therefore leading you to love yourself more and encouraging you to do your best and arrive victorious at the finishing line of recovery.
9. Create a cathartic effect
Sharing problems, stories, and experiences with people helps you relieve hurt, culpability or anxiety you are currently undertaking.
Group therapy offers a safe haven for people undergoing addiction rehabilitation. It is a very cost effective procedure in administering treatment to people with the same problems plus it is convenient to both the patient and the therapist since sharing of knowledge and stories allow each member to do the healing themselves, only with the help of each other. And above all, this therapy gives room for people to receive support and encouragement and at the same time, inspire each other for each and everyone to be at their best.
What makes it effective?
Through the years, group therapy has been effective in certain situations. According to studies, it has been successful in treating depression and traumatic stress but one could ask one’s self what makes it efficient upon dealing with addiction rehabilitation. The driving force of its effectiveness is the set of guiding principles. These guiding principles are called the twelve-set program and this helps guide members to overcome problems including addiction.
What is this Twelve-set Programs?
Twelve-set program is a collection of guiding principles that outlines a strategy for embarking upon tribulations such as alcoholism, compulsion and drug addiction. This is accepted by members of groups as ‘spiritual principles’. The following is the twelve initial steps to be taken by an individual in order to address their current undertakings:
- Accept and admit that we are weak in the midst of our addiction problem.
- Hope that we can be restored back to our sanity by a powerful Being.
- Surrender ourselves to God by making a decision to trust Him with our lives.
- Make an inventory that will serve as your moral inventory.
- Share that inventory through admitting it to God and to other people as well.
- Be ready to have your “defective” characteristics be removed by God.
- Ask the Almighty to remove your shortcomings in a very humble manner.
- Make a list of people you have wronged and amend your mistakes.
- Begin your steps of amending your faults.
- Continue making your inventory.
- Pray to the Almighty to have a better communication with God and to understand His plans for us.
- Begin charity works to carry hope and inspiration to other addicts.
In conclusion, it is indubitably better to open up to other people most especially to those sharing the same problem. Start sharing your thoughts and be an inspiration to millions of people.