Talking about your problems is not an easy thing to do. Many prefer individual therapy over group therapy because they believe their issues are worse than others; that others won’t understand them, or they are uncomfortable talking about their issues in front of others. Many of these feelings are a result of shame that is produced through addictive behaviors. The shameful voice may convince the addict that “Others need to open up but not me”, “Talking about my issues with others will only make it worse”, or “My addiction is much worse or not as bad as others.” The thought of meeting with a group of other people may seem overwhelming. Despite all this, there are many great benefits to group therapy.
Meeting with Others with Similar Issues
This helps the group member realize they are not the only person who struggles with this addiction. Group members can provide each other with safety, support, and positive feedback as they work through the addiction together. Group members can also serve as accountability partners for each other outside of group. As a result they can text, call, and/or meet with each other when they need additional support.
Reducing Feelings of Shame
The group setting can provide a safe environment for the addict to tell their story. As group members open up and stop keeping their addiction a secret, feelings of shame are reduced and the group member will be able begin a deeper healing. Opening up to the group also helps prepare the group members to open up to others in their life who have been impacted by the addiction.
A Place of Safety
For many who struggle with pornography addiction, they feel alone and unable to reach out to others. They fear that by doing so they will be shunned by those they love, their churches, and their communities. Confidentially is a key component of group therapy that provides a place of safety for talking openly about addiction. The group may be the only setting where they feel free to talk about these issues.
-Written by Tim Koford, MS, LMFT
For information about our therapeutic groups for treating sexual addiction, relational trauma from being in a relationship with a sexual addict, food addiction, or teenage sexual addiction, visit us online or call us at (559) 323-8484.