enablingAfter World War I, social workers placed veterans suffering from emotional and physical wartime traumas into separate recovery groups. There was a group for those blinded in battle; another for those who lost body parts, and so on. The therapists then walked about the camps to see that these gatherings were operating smoothly. To their surprise, instead of hearing somber sounds and soulful cries, they heard waves of laughter coming from each of these tents! It was clear that through sharing their most horrific experiences and seeing how others like them survived- by experiencing commonality and hope- these wounded warriors were able to recover emotionally.
In terms of addiction, group meetings have been proven to aid healing when coupled with an ongoing one-on-one recovery program. Roy V. Tellis, CASAC-G, CTC, RC Program Director of The SAFE Foundation says, “Group therapy is the first step toward ending the isolation and aloneness that one battling addiction typically experiences. Peers going through similar challenges dispel the feeling that no one can ever understand what the addict is going through.”
Roy asserts, “History, statistics, and SAFE’s experiences have shown that people involved in groups have a higher percentage of reaching an acceptable resolution to their problems.”
Self-Help Groups:
• Create a supportive community atmosphere
• Introduce accountability to others
• Help one remain on track toward defined goals
• Encourage growth
• Offer perspective about personal history
• Introduce one to the stories of others who have gone through similar situations
• Allow one to gather insight from others who are further along on their journey.
Most recovery groups follow a twelve-step process.
These steps involve:
• Admitting that you are powerless to control your addiction or compulsion
• Recognizing a higher power “as you understand it” that can give strength
• Reviewing the mistakes you’ve made in the past, with the help of your sponsor
• Making amends for past mistakes and wrongs
• Learning how to live a new life, free from old unhealthy habits and ways of behaving
• Helping fellow addicts recover