Six grown men who were complete strangers to each other are living together for a month, give or take. They’re uncomfortable, homesick, and fresh in this newfound recovery. Are we really surprised when they start to nitpick and provoke each other? No. Obviously it’s not encouraged, but fights and feuds among addiction recovery inpatient clients are not at all uncommon. And one of the most common times these arguments happen is during group therapy. Everyone has his or her own opinions, beliefs, and stories, which will come out during group therapy. So it’s only natural that people clash sometimes and group therapy arguments pop off.
Blame it on testosterone, conflicting personalities, or “he’s just not a good guy, man.” The important thing is not why these arguments come up but rather how you go about dealing with them.
Group Therapy Benefits
So, before we get into our pacifist toolbox, we should probably talk about why you’re in these group therapy sessions in the first place. Recovery is most successful when it’s approached with multifaceted treatment. Medication alone, therapy alone, or quitting cold turkey won’t give you the benefits of a full, well-rounded treatment. New Start offers one-on-one treatment, individual case management, detox medications, and group therapy so that our clients stay happy and comfortable.
Participating in a group gives you the opportunity to be supported and encouraged from all sides. Your group members are also going through recovery. Not only will you receive support from them, but you’ll also be able to listen to and cheer on others, which will help them in their recovery as well. This whole interchange of support benefits everyone involved.
The simple camaraderie and fellowship that group therapy creates is another huge benefit. Sometimes people might not want to openly share or explicitly participate. That’s completely okay. No one can force you to be a full-blown, guns blazing group therapy extrovert. But just being a part of a group with people physically at your side and wordlessly sharing your struggle will inherently boost your mood and confidence.
Tools for Handling Group Therapy Arguments
Group therapy is great for recovery, but not everything can be peaches and daisies 24/7. Sometimes groups get heated and arguments might arise. Two people might butt heads or someone might antagonize the whole group. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do if these group therapy arguments come up.
If you are involved in the argument:
If you are a witness to the argument:
If you are the instigator:
So maybe someone “really isn’t a good guy, man.” But that’s not for you to decide. Your recovery is your recovery and his recovery is his recovery. Focusing on your own, individual journey will leave no room for you to even entertain group therapy arguments. But if you encounter one, these tools will keep you prepared.