What is Process Group Therapy?

Addiction treatment is much more than detox. By the time your body is free of drugs and alcohol, your brain, body and spirit will need support. Going through tough things will teach you a lot about yourself, and detox and treatment are both tough. For even better awareness of where your mind is at, individual and group therapy can help.

What is process group therapy? Most of our conversations are about things that have come up in the past. These are often referred to as “there and then” conversations. During these, you can often express your feelings, but those feelings have been filtered to make you more comfortable with your expressions. Process group therapy is a way to connect with others facing similar problems and getting in the moment feedback regarding their impression of you.

Your Voicemail Recording

If you’ve ever made a voicemail recording and flinched when you listened, you know that what you think you sound like and what you really sound like can be very different. Similarly, your ability to speak to others and express yourself effectively may feel kind and receptive within yourself, but when others note your tone, body language and words, you appear to be

  • a doormat
  • saccharine sweet
  • wishy-washy

Being told that you sound like a doormat may be a jolt. However, this immediate feedback allows you to immediately become aware of your body language and your tone. Such feedback can make life easier when you move back into the world of “polite” conversation.

Group Coaching Session

As you come to understand the dynamics of process group therapy and note how useful this therapeutic process can be, consider reaching out to let your fellow group members and ask for help with specific challenges. If your family has a history of addiction, you may have found that passive communication kept you safer. Of course, you know in your conscious mind that physical abuse is highly unlikely in most adult communication settings.

However, those who experienced verbal, emotional or physical abuse in childhood have a subconscious that is trained to do whatever it takes to keep them safe. Passive communication can quickly turn into passive aggressive communication. Working with a supportive group to call you out on those passive aggressive tendencies can bring you to full awareness when you lapse; you may even develop a solo mantra that helps you remember that you are safe and can say what you think.

This can work both ways. If you tend to blurt out related comments or interrupt people, you may spend time in group practicing keeping your teeth together. No matter how much talking you plan to do, keep notes and track what feelings crop up before you speak.

Body Language

Poker players learn to control their physical reactions when they pick up a hand. As you work through the drug treatment processes, you may note that resistance and fear crop up physically, even if you can’t talk about it yet. If you have someone in your group who has a similar physique to a supportive family member, you may overshare in their presence.

If you have suffered trauma or sexual abuse, you may find that being in the physical sphere of someone of a similar size of your abuser is unsettling. The first step is to talk about the experience enough that you can understand your reaction. The second step is to ask for help from group members to help you understand what you’re reacting to and how your body is behaving in that sphere. Process group therapy is also about giving. This may mean learning to speak up without feeling pressured or rattled; again, your history will need to be overcome. If you learned never to speak up as a child and now bottle things up until you explode, it’s time to learn to simply talk.

Process group can help you to share ideas without having to wait for the tea kettle to blow. Life can be better. The work of detox and treatment is an amazing first and second step. However, your mind and spirit have more to learn to find a better way to be in the world. We can help. Ready to get started? Call us today at 302-842-2390.

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Essentials mission is to renew lives impacted by addiction through personalized and complete behavioral healthcare. Our main purpose is to provide services and education to the client and family that will support long lasting recovery of mind, body, and spirit.