Recovery is a personal journey, and the people and strategies each person employs will reflect their goals in sobriety. However, deciding on a particular recovery facility can be an intimidating task. Between the therapeutic opportunities available and the level of care needed, there is a lot to consider to make the most of one's time in a particular program, including the size of the recovery environment itself.
While some individuals may reap the most benefits from large recovery groups, others may prefer a smaller, more intimate recovery environment in which to explore their journey. Finding the right recovery environment for each individual is crucial for a successful, transformative recovery.
Find What Is Right for You
The question of selecting a smaller, intimate environment or a larger, more populous environment is not one that has a “right” or “wrong” answer. An individual's feelings towards each of these options are entirely their own. Knowing the benefits and compromises of each kind of recovery environment can help each individual select the type that may be most beneficial to them and their unique journey.
Taking time to analyze different recovery facilities and environments to ensure that one benefits from the opportunity can be more impactful than simply selecting the first facility one finds. Recovery will always be a personal journey. Feeling a sense of hope and belonging is essential in making the most out of one's time in any treatment program.
The Benefits of Larger Recovery Groups
Larger recovery groups come with a number of advantages. With more people comes more chances to refine one's social skills and find peers that can transform into supports, or even friends, throughout recovery. The impressive collection of individuals each with their own perspectives on addiction recovery can create a deluge of ideas. This ensures that an individual always has new strategies to explore and ideas to try.
Having constant access to these new ideas can be very motivational for a person. It can help them mitigate feelings of stagnation in their recovery path and always make new efforts for their future.
However, large groups also have to accommodate this increased population. Each individual's time speaking and sharing in these groups can be limited. Many voices can mean less time for each voice to shine and discuss the intricacies of any particular individual's situation. This means much of the personalization of one's recovery journey can be left to the devices of the individual or must be saved for individual therapy sessions later on.
Those suffering from social anxiety or who are in the infancy of embracing new social skills may find these groups intimidating, which may inhibit one's progress in each session.
The Benefits of an Intimate Recovery Atmosphere
Smaller groups, however, take a different approach to recovery. Rather than creating a large dynamic with a myriad of mixing ideas and approaches, smaller, more intimate recovery environments focus on a personalized, uniquely-paced approach to each individual. By having more time with professionals in smaller groups, each individual is encouraged to speak more about their unique experiences.
This more personalized approach not only helps to explore one's unique feelings and experiences but also allows those in recovery to interact with each other in more meaningful ways. It also helps individuals get to know their peers and professionals as supports in equal measure.
Smaller groups and facilities with smaller professional-client ratios also help to ensure that there is trusted support available whenever needed. There can be any number of unforeseen stressors throughout the recovery process. Being able to navigate and process these difficulties as they manifest is a major boon to one's recovery journey.
These intimate atmospheres can also be more malleable in their tone and approaches. They help to break down dense, intimidating atmospheres and create a unique feel and language that is focused around only a few close peers where one feels comfortable.
Sharing the intricacies of one's experience with addiction is a difficult thing to do, and can often come with a large degree of shame, guilt, and vulnerability. Having a curated, comfortable atmosphere can promote a more healthy, open dialogue. This in turn promotes the most impactful, genuine, and honest discussions about one's goals in sobriety and for their future.
There is no “right” or “wrong” way to answer what kind of recovery environment is appropriate for each individual. The more personalized, intimate approaches of smaller professional-client facilities can carry various unique benefits, just as larger groups can create an extensive list of new perspectives and strategies. However, finding an environment that one is comfortable in is the most important factor to explore the difficulties and vulnerabilities necessary on such a transformative journey.