Group Therapy in Addiction Treatment
Alongside medication management, family therapy, and individual therapy, group therapy is one of the elements of an effective addiction treatment program. It is commonly used to bring together a group of people struggling with similar substance use disorders so that they can encourage each other on the road to recovery.
About Group Therapy
Group therapy refers to any kind of therapy or counseling options that will create a recovery group designed to help the members of the group to reduce their symptoms of substance abuse and addiction. Most of these sessions will have trained leaders guiding the discussions.
It is unlike family or couples counseling in the sense that the members of the group will typically not have any relationship that was pre-existing before they joined the sessions. That said, the sessions will be conducted in a wide variety of therapeutic settings as well as in different levels of care, such as residential programs, outpatient treatment centers, and inpatient programs.
If you are committed to overcoming your substance abuse and addiction, you might want to use group therapy as one of the options that will guide you towards a lifestyle of health, recovery, and wellness.
Benefits of Group Therapy
There are some advantageous elements to group therapy that surpass or at least equal individual therapy. Thanks to these advantages, you might want to give this form of therapy a try. They include:
- As a member of the group, you will get the opportunity to observe the issues that others have been dealing with in their recovery journeys as well as learn the methods that they use to solve their problems
- Group therapy will effectively treat a number of people at the same time using one therapist, which could ensure that members are able to have quick and ready access to counseling options
- It can offer you education about the addiction recovery process
- The sessions can build a sense of self-worth, belief, and optimism, which could prove useful to your long term recovery
- The sessions can develop meaningful relationships with the members of the group that you can use outside the sessions for encouragement, motivation, and support
- The sessions use therapeutic tools like confronting poor decision making and challenging irrational beliefs with the goal of bring about behavioral modification
- The sessions will boost routine and structure in your daily lifestyle
- You will be able to learn healthy coping skills that you can use to manage the stress factors in your day to day life without turning to drugs and alcohol
- You will be empowered and encouraged to offer feedback and assistance to the other members of the group
- You will be provided by motivation and support from the peers in the group so that you can maintain your recovery goals
Who Needs Group Therapy?
If you are interested in group therapy, the addiction treatment center you attend will match you up with the group that will best suit your individual needs, preferences, and requirements. Before you are placed in such a group, however, the professionals at the center will consider your:
- Emotional stability
- Stage in recovery
- Treatment preferences
- Unique needs
Based on your current status, you may even find that you are not fit for this form of therapy. This is particularly true if you:
- Are currently going through a crisis that is accompanied by severe and unmanageable symptoms
- Cannot maintain confidentiality
- Experience extreme stress whenever you are in new circumstances or situations or around other people
- Have a high risk of breaking the rules of the
- Refuse to admit that group therapy is a viable treatment option for you
- Struggle in your efforts to build meaningful, stable, reliable, and suitable relationships
If you are part of a particular segment of the population - such as if you are a teen or a woman - there might also be some special considerations that the addiction treatment center would have to make before placing, you in group therapy.
This is because research studies have shown that women who engage in groups that are only comprised of women have improved outcomes than those who are in groups with other men.
There is also a high risk that when teens are put in the same group for therapy, they may reinforce or encourage the habits of substance abuse and addiction among themselves. This is why the leaders of groups that only contain teens are forced to be aware of such a risk as well as encouraged to work effectively to manage it.
Group Therapy Models
In case you are a good fit for group therapy, however, there are different models of sessions that you may come across. They include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy groups
- Interpersonal process groups
- Psychoeducational groups
- Skill development groups
- Support groups
While working with a proficient and knowledgeable treatment professional or expert, any of these models can offer you good benefits. Even so, you will most likely find that there are some models that might fit your needs much better than others.
In the same way, some of these group therapy models might be able to take advantage of different models over the course of the sessions and meetings. This means that they will shift between models to ensure that you get the best of everyone one that is used.
Depending on how the group is being conducted as well as on its membership, there are other subtypes that exist for the different models of group therapy. They include but are not limited to:
- Fixed groups
- Revolving groups
- Time-limited groups
- Ongoing groups
Depending on your preferences, needs, suitability, and stage in recovery, you may find that group therapy is a preferred option in getting you the help that you need to overcome your substance abuse and addiction. It is recommended that you discuss this option with your addiction treatment professionals and counselors to see if you would be a good fit for group therapy, as well as understand the various benefits that you may gain from going for this form of therapy.
We can help you find the right treatment facility that best fits your overall needs and financial requirements.
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