Interacting with other people in social situations is challenging for many people. Individuals in recovery from addiction may struggle with knowing how to engage with people in different circumstances. Social development suffers and requires a retraining of social skills. Learn how to develop positive social skills in recovery and tips to get started.
Learning Social Skills
Social skills training for a person in recovery is closely related to behavioral therapy. Unwanted behaviors must be replaced with more desirable behaviors. Social skills training is more effective when combined with other cognitive behavioral therapy treatments. Significant relapse rates are noted for people with addiction who receive social skills training which consists of:
- Learning to interact with friends, family members, coworkers
- Learning to interact in social situations, especially around drugs or alcohol
- Drug and alcohol refusal skills training
Social skills training is helpful in learning how to relate with coworkers, friends and family in social settings. Individuals can learn important skills such as:
- Listening as a form of two-way communication
- Understanding spoken cues (body language, for example)
- Assertiveness and boundaries
One of the major keys to staying sober in recovery is a focus on building positive interpersonal relationships after addiction challenged and strained many relationships. It may be one of the most important skills an individual can learn in recovery.
Addiction recovery is a series of challenges life brings, including social settings where drugs or alcohol may be present. Social skills training can better prepare individuals to face situations which may trigger a desire to use and potentially lead to relapse. Eye contact and small talk are important cues to learn which can help a person overcome social awkwardness. The art of small talk may help a person in recovery get past the awkwardness without relapsing. Refusal skills can teach an individual how to do the following:
- Use ‘no’ phrases
- Strategies to deal with peer pressure
- Practicing at home before heading into situations
- Ask friends and family for help to say ‘no’
A person recovering from addiction may learn and utilize skills in group therapy.Group therapy is a safe space to practice skills in the comfortable surroundings of known individuals and trained therapists who can provide feedback and support in learning the new skills. Individuals can practice small talk and refusal skills while learning positive social skills which can serve people for a long time to come in recovery. Recovery is a series of learning curves which can be made easier by taking the opportunity to practice responses to opportunities which may arise before facing the world head on.
The Villa believes people who learn positive life skills, including social development, are more likely to remain sober in recovery. Call us to find out how we can help you cultivate these skills and deal with real world situations in a safe space. Let us help you navigate recovery together.