Group therapy is a pivotal part of addiction treatment. While multiple modalities are recommended for addiction treatment, group therapy is one that is vital. The National Institute of Health has published multiple articles praising and supporting the benefits of group therapy. One such article states that “group therapy is a powerful therapeutic tool for treating substance abuse, one that is as helpful as individual therapy, and sometimes more successful”.
Groups are effective for a number of reasons. It prevents isolation, generates a community of recovery, and also helps overcome negative emotions while witnessing others recover from a common disease. We utilize group therapy sessions in conjunction with other therapeutic models like individual therapy and specific behavioral techniques.
Benefits of Group Therapy
Many people entering addiction treatment find it easy to isolate. They feel comfortable by themselves, or may be afraid to communicate with others. Unfortunately, isolation leads to exacerbated depression, anxiety, and low self-worth. Therapies help address these issues and prevent isolation.
We understand it can be difficult to open up, or discuss personal issues in a group setting. We stand side by side with our clients and guide them to a culture of recovery and acceptance. When group therapy is properly utilized, it creates a community culture focused on support and encouragement. It helps people feel connected and gain perspective on their past behaviors.
While therapy may seem daunting to some, its benefits are countless to those in early recovery. Relating to others’ stories while identifying common characteristics and behaviors is a powerful introspective tool. It also helps build positive relationships.
Group sessions also allow group members to identify shared experiences and similar problems. This allows them to help one another identify problem decision making patterns and behavior patterns that contributed to addiction.
Group sessions build social skills and help prepare people for other types of therapy like support groups and 12-step programs. Opening up in a small group session can be the stepping stone to leading a large group or speaking publicly. It builds confidence and self-worth.
Types of Group Therapy
There are multiple different types of group therapy. Some focus on sharing personal stories. These are considered support groups, as they help people relate and support each other. There are cognitive behavioral therapy groups, which utilize CBT to help change thought processes that lead to addiction.
There are also psychoeducational groups and skills development groups that help people learn about the mechanisms of addiction, and add tools to the skillset to overcome addiction. These groups may seem rudimentary to some, but they offer invaluable skills that cannot be obtained without therapeutic approaches.
Finally there are also process groups, also called interpersonal group psychotherapy. These process groups focus on identification of life problems or triggers that led them to drug use or addictive behaviors.
A combination of these help to build a strong foundation for recovery. When combined with individual therapy, medication management, and medical monitoring, a powerful treatment plan can be created and utilized.
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Effectiveness of Group Therapy
All of these types of group therapy sound fantastic, but many people ask whether or not they are effective. Thankfully, this is an evidence based treatment. This means that there is more than enough evidence to show the countless benefits of group therapy.
This type of therapy is considered to be one of the pillars of a treatment program and the gold standard for building support groups and a culture of acceptance. The American Psychology Association, The National Institutes of Health, and countless others sing the praises and successes of group therapy.
Nearly every article written on types of therapy utilized in treatment of substance use disorders and mental health identifies group therapy as an effective treatment modality. Others who attend group sessions understand and experience first hand its effectiveness.
This is why we use group therapy at our programs to help build the groundwork of a successful recovery from addiction. We utilize group sessions, individual therapy, holistic therapies, and much more.
The Recovery Team has decades of experience and success treating addictions and mental health disorders. We are a dual diagnosis program with multi disciplined therapists and experienced medical staff. We are equipped and thankful to be able to treat thousands of patients a year; helping them and their families find freedom from addiction.
We have multiple levels of care, and countless treatment options to meet individuals specific needs. Our compassionate admissions staff are available 24/7. If you or a loved one is in need of treatment for drugs, alcohol, or mental health, we are here for you. Call us anytime at (800) 817-1247