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How Co-Ed Group Therapy Helps Aid Recovery

There are many successful resources for people struggling to overcome addiction, even just at Enlightened Solutions alone. For every treatment method offered, counseling is a resource that is available to every one of our clients. We offer group co-ed therapy as well as individual therapy since not everyone is comfortable sharing their experiences in front of others.

Before you dismiss the idea of co-ed therapy, let’s take a look at some of the reasons it has high success rates. You may find that it’s worth giving a chance, in addition to or instead of individual therapy.

The Wisdom of Mixed-Gender Discussion

At other addiction treatment facilities, it’s common for men and women to be separated, even though they’re all there to discuss the same issue. There are some valid reasons for this, as many people turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with intimate traumas like sexual abuse. For people with that background, it’s understandable why they may feel more comfortable in single-gendered spaces. It’s also why co-ed therapy is never something that is forced on our clients.

However, part of group therapy, in general, is to benefit from the wisdom and experiences that others bring to the table.

Not everyone is in the same place in their journey of recovery; some may be further along on that road than others. Some may be getting treatment at a facility for a second or third time. Group therapy allows people to learn from the experiences of others, whether it’s through lessons learned from past mistakes, healing strategies, coping mechanisms that worked (and ones that didn’t), and much more.

Life is experienced differently by men and women, and while not everything shared in co-ed therapy may be directly applicable, it provides a wider scope to understand the effects of addiction.

Meaningful Connections in Co-Ed Therapy

At the start of addiction treatment, single-gender groups are recommended before co-ed ones. This is because the start of treatment can be overwhelming, and introducing the dynamic of co-ed therapy may be uncomfortable. Understandably, we want to remove as many stumbling blocks as we can in order for clients to get the most out of treatment. As clients move further along in our programs, becoming more comfortable with the new environment and the people they meet here, co-ed therapy can become a valuable tool for processing and understanding the nuances of addiction.

In co-ed therapy, we aim to facilitate a healthy dynamic between clients who are sharing parts of their lives with us. In order to accomplish this, we aim to diminish distractions by guiding discussion in the following ways:

  • We keep the focus on gender-specific issues that men and women face, as it relates to substance abuse and addiction.
  • We ensure our clients are comfortable and feel safe in this space.
  • We aim to increase participation by developing self-confidence rather than by pressuring people to share who may do more listening than speaking.
  • We aim to remove gender-specific boundaries and expectations that exist outside of the treatment facility, so everyone is on equal footing.

The Benefits of Co-Ed Group Therapy

Not only are the experiences of men and women different, but so are their thought processes. Even talking about the same topic can yield many unique perspectives that members of one gender or the other may never have considered.

Improves Relationships

Since addiction is an issue that affects relationships with family, or perhaps even originated at home, the perspectives of men and women shared in therapy can help clients better understand the nuances of their relationships with mothers and fathers, or husbands and wives. This may be a limited understanding, but it can help enable clients to improve relationships with these family members once they return from treatment.

Men and women can also offer advice or suggestions for the opposite gender on how to address sensitive issues surrounding addiction, as it relates to mixed-gendered relationships. It’s also true that, while many people relate better to members of their own gender, some people are the opposite.

Strengthens Communication Skills

Co-ed therapy is one way to create an environment in which people of all types of communication styles feel comfortable. While the differences between the genders are significant, there are also more commonalities than perhaps many people realize. Clients may find that they are more equipped to engage with the opposite gender upon leaving treatment and returning back to their daily lives.

Co-Ed Therapy at Enlightened Solutions

At Enlightened Solutions, we understand that there is no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” approach to treatment. Clients are assessed and recommended specific treatment modalities on an individual basis. Some may be recommended for co-ed therapy, while others will not. An atmosphere of trust and safety is critical for any kind of treatment method to be successful.

At the same time, it’s also important to recognize that much of daily life is filled with interactions between both genders. Therefore, it is important to learn (or re-learn) how to build positive interactions and relationships, and the safe space offered at Enlightened Solutions is a great place to do that. As clients transition to life outside of treatment, the skills they learn in co-ed therapy will serve them well as they form new relationships in daily life, or attempt to rebuild old ones.

No matter what type of treatment method you’re looking for, Enlightened Solutions is likely to provide it. We evaluate and assess our clients based on many factors, including (but not limited to) physical and mental health, the severity of the addiction, past experiences, and present needs. Our assessment is thorough and conducted by licensed professionals who are as compassionate as they are knowledgeable. The treatment approach of our facility centers around holistic methods, which are intended to facilitate healing in the mind, body, and spirit; not just in the physical body. To learn more, call us at (833) 801-LIVE to speak with our staff. Don’t wait any longer to begin your healing journey.

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