| Peter Cook
In our last blog, we hope we’ve made our case: group work in a therapy or support setting can change your life!
We conclude this series on the ‘power of groups’ with a few uplifting real-life stories. After all, if you are not convinced yet, there’s nothing like a true-life-story to change your mind!
Real-life group recovery stories
Group therapy in rehab
After a lifetime of an on-and-off relationship with alcohol, Stan eventually retired from being a correctional officer. Things spiraled downward quickly. Just a year into his retirement, he went for a drive while he was ridiculously drunk. He wrecked his truck and ended up in jail.
It was rock bottom for him: he fell apart. He was an emotional wreck because he did not know if he had hurt anyone or the legal charges against him. He knew he had to get help.
Help, for him, come in the form of group therapy in a rehab home.
'They loved me,' Stan says. 'When I got there, I was bankrupt – mentally, physically, and spiritually – but I left a different person.' Stan went on to join the AA after rehab. 'I've got my life back,' he says.
Military sexual trauma
During military service, both male and female service members sometimes must deal with unwanted sexual assault or harassment. It is called ‘military sexual trauma’ or MST.
For Maria M, joining a woman's group was the first step to healing after her experience with this. The support group was explicitly constructed to help women with MST and post-traumatic stress disorder. Maria learned some techniques to cope with her severe flashbacks: she wrote in a journal and wrote letters to her offender. The group also taught her to start using affirmative words.
'MST is something that happened to me,' she says. 'It does not define me. The group helped me a great deal.'
The Worry Group
'I did not want to share my feelings with a group of total strangers,' Bernie says.
He struggled with anxiety issues when his therapist suggested a 'worry' group. After the first session, he realized that his fears were groundless. The group environment was comforting and supportive.
It was a chance to 'check-in' each week and share struggles with each other. There was a group dynamic that Bernie could not explain. It just felt right.
He says that sharing his story with others helped him and strengthened him. Hearing others talk about the same issues he was facing meant he could help and offer advice. It changed how he thought about his own problems.
The purpose of this short series on groups and group therapy was to let you know that there is help. There are wonderful, tailor-made groups just waiting for you to join. You won’t be judged – in fact, you’ll be welcomed with open arms.
Start doing some research today and change your own destiny – just like the people in our blog today.