The Benefits of Constructive Feedback in Sober Living: Encouraging Growth and Change
Addiction treatment plants the seeds of sobriety, while recovery nurtures the seed until it grows into a healthy, strong plant. As you nurture your seed, youâ€™ll see the growth necessary for resisting cravings and urges. However, nurturing can come from many directions and people.
Peer support helps you nurture yourself in recovery through constructive feedback and recognizing positive and negative behaviors. Constructive feedback then provides advice on how to move forward so you continue to grow and change.
Learn how to build a supportive peer group and the benefits of having a support group.
What Is Constructive Feedback?
Constructive feedback is providing advice and comments to help someone improve their situation and outcomes.
There are two primary types of constructive feedback:
- Positive Feedback: Reinforcing positive behaviors to keep someone on the right track
- Negative Feedback: Correcting negative behaviors to improve future outcomes
Constructive feedback has three parts:
- Recognizing a behavior, emotion, or situation
- Discussing how the behavior impacts the person
- Empathetically advising future actions to improve their outcomes
The key to effective constructive feedback is having the right goal. The person providing feedback must give it to improve behavior and guide someone forward, not just give feedback for the sake of feedback or tear someone down.
Where Can You Receive Constructive Feedback?
You can receive constructive feedback from therapists, counselors, and other professionals. However, some of the most effective feedback comes from peer support in your sober community. Peer support offers nonprofessional, nonclinical assistance from individuals with similar conditions or circumstances.
You can find a group for peer support in several places, including:
- Family members and friends with similar experiences
- 12-step programs
- Local community support groups
- Online communities and support groups
- Mentor with more experience in recovery
- Sober living homes
To receive the full benefits of peer support, you should accept their advice alongside professional help and treatment since they work together for long-term recovery.
How Can Constructive Feedback Help with Sober Living?
According to multiple studies, constructive feedback through peer support improves outcomes. Here are five specific ways it benefits you in recovery.
1. Helps You Identify Triggers
Peer support groups identify situations triggering your cravings and negative behaviors. They can also identify patterns or places reinforcing positive behaviors. Knowing where you experience triggers helps you avoid those situations for better outcomes.
2. Aids in Understanding Your Emotions
Emotions during recovery are complex and can feel out of control. Peer support groups help you recognize how situations make you feel or what emotions trigger actions. Then, through constructive feedback, you can focus on scenarios supporting positive activities.
3. Identifies Potential Weaknesses
Do you have certain weaknesses that make you more susceptible to relapse? Peer support uses constructive feedback to help you understand those weaknesses so you can work on those areas. For example, if youâ€™re prone to feeling stressed, you might look into stress management options like meditation.
4. Provides a Path Forward
When you make a poor decision, feelings of guilt or shame are common. These emotions may prevent you from seeing a way forward.
Peer support offers a hand to guide you away from those negative emotions to focus on your wins and goals. They can use constructive feedback to recognize negative decisions without feeding negative emotions. Then, you can use your experience to learn how to improve future behavior and your outcome.
5. Encourages Positive Behavior
Whether your success is resisting a drink at a party, getting outside for a walk, or hitting recovery milestones, those wins deserve celebration.
Celebrating those wins keeps you on track toward bigger wins, like long-term recovery.
Build a Community for Your Continued Growth
Community is the rich ground in which your seeds of recovery will thrive. At Ethos, we offer a community of men who share similar experiences. Together, you can support each other with constructive peer feedback and a listening ear.
Contact us to learn more about our sober living home and how it supports long-term recovery.
Author – Chris Howard
Chris Howard is the Founder and Director of Ethos Recovery. He has a B.A. in Psychology from UCLA and has served as a community advocate/mentor for men and women in recovery since 2010.