What is Group Therapy for Addiction?
Group Therapy for Addiction is a vital component in any comprehensive addiction treatment program. It offers clients the ability to access support and encouragement from the community surrounding them in a residential treatment facility. The natural sense humans have to congregate and to lean on people around them makes group therapy for addiction a very powerful tool in treating substance abuse.
Many addicts and alcoholics come to treatment from an isolated environment. They wanted to keep people away from their addiction and destructive behaviors. It is crucial for them to integrate with their community, and limit this isolation to recover. It is so vital they learn to rely on available support and not face this battle of drug and alcohol addiction alone.
Group therapy is a form of counseling used to treat psychological disorders such as addiction and substance abuse. Unlike one-on-one counseling, group therapy typically involves a therapist and two or more individuals at the same time. During sessions, individuals take turns talking about their feelings, struggles, experiences, and goals. In addiction recovery, group counseling topics typically include:
- Identifying and avoiding triggers
- Managing difficult peers and family members
- Resolving disagreement in interpersonal relationships
- Coping with unexpected and common stressors
- Controlling emotions effectively
The effectiveness of group therapy in treating alcohol and drug abuse can also be connected to the nature of addiction and several factors associated with it. This includes(but is not limited to) anxiety, depression, isolation, shame, denial, temporary cognitive impairment, and character pathology. Whether a person abuses substances or not, these problems often respond better to group therapy than to individual treatment. Group therapy is also effective because people are fundamentally relational creatures. This is according to the study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) 
Group Therapy vs. Individual Therapy
Which Is Better?
Individual therapy and group therapy are effective in treating alcohol and drug addiction and mental health issues. Most people find both fit into their recovery plans well because each provides distinct benefits.
Difference Between Group Therapy And Individual Therapy
- While confidentiality is often a requirement of a group therapy setting, it is not a guarantee.
- Individual therapy can move at a pace that is convenient for you and right for your stage of recovery.
- If you prefer dedicated time with a therapist, you may feel drawn to individual therapy. However, group therapy can still offer meaningful ways to practice skills you’re learning in individual treatment.
Extroversion Vs. introversion
- More extroverted people may prefer group therapy, allowing them to interact with others and share similar experiences. Group therapy also offers many perspectives instead of just one, which can open your mind to new ways of thinking.
Advantages Of Group Therapy For Addiction
- Group gives family-like experience
- Groups give feedback concerning the abilities and values of other group members.
- Groups coach, encourage, support, and reinforce as members undertake sensitive or anxiety-provoking tasks.
- Groups offer members the chance to learn or relearn the social skills they need to cope with everyday life instead of resorting to addiction.
- Groups can effectively confront individual members about addiction and other destructive behaviors.
- Groups allow a single treatment professional to support a number of clients at the same time.
- Groups can add needed discipline and structure to the lives of people with substance use disorders, which often enter treatment with their lives in chaos.
- Groups teach hope, a sense that “If he can make it, so can I”.
- Groups often provide and support encouragement to one another outside the group setting.
- Groups provide pressure and positive peer support to abstain from addiction.
- Groups lessen the sense of isolation that most people who have addiction experience.
- Groups allow people who abuse substances to observe the recovery of others.
- Groups help members learn to cope with their substance abuse and other problems, by allowing them to see how others deal with similar problems.
- Groups can give useful information to clients who are new to recovery.
Group Therapy vs. Support Group
Group therapy and support groups are not the same things. The main difference is that support groups are not led by professionals. They are led by group members. Support groups are a healthy way to explore emotions with people who understand what you’re going through. A common example is Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotic Anonymous (NA).
Members and participants usually form strong relationships with individuals from their support groups. Some groups promote this with the sponsor/sponsee arrangement, where a more experienced group member assists a new member. You can reach out to other group members when you’re struggling. This ongoing support can be key to avoiding relapse.
As with group therapy, you can find support groups in a variety of settings. Meetings may be held in hospitals, churches, and community facilities. They may be held over the phone, in person, or even online. When suitable, facilitators might invite a guest nurse, doctor, or other qualified professional to speak on relevant issues. Most of the time, a member of the group speaks during meetings.
While support groups can be a necessary form of ongoing support, they aren’t a replacement for therapy. The goal of a support group is to provide emotional assistance to people who are dealing with a common problem.
A group therapy session led by a licensed professional gives a variety of benefits for those striving toward substance abuse recovery. Ideally, these include:
- Recommended instruction on how to develop healthier coping skills and recovery behaviors
- Valuable feedback from both your peers and therapist
- The chance to share your feelings and thoughts with others who understand
- A non-judgmental and warm setting to talk about the problems you’re experiencing
- A sense of belonging and contribution
- The chance to help others
- The opportunity to discover new resources and techniques
Group therapy sessions are usually only a part of a complete addiction recovery program. However, they go a long way toward helping someone who’s alienated and isolated feel more normal. Eventually, both group therapy and support group participation can greatly help your overall recovery journey. They don’t replace each other, but they can complement each other well.
Where To Find Group Therapy
Once you have made the decision to participate in an alcohol and drug addiction group, you may be wondering where you can find group therapy. Both inpatient treatment centers for addiction and residential treatment centers for addiction offer a full menu of groups that can address both your alcohol and drug addiction and other issues you may be dealing with.
Another place to get support is through 12-step groups offered by Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous. These groups are often free and held at multiple locations and times so that you can find somewhere that is convenient for you.
In addition to groups that address your alcohol and drug addiction, group therapy may also include the following:
- Mood disorders
- Relationship skills
- Process groups
- Body image and nutrition groups
- Art therapy
- Yoga therapy
- Life coaching
Your addiction treatment and therapist team can help you select the group therapy that will be most effective for you in your recovery.
Group Therapy Activities
Everyone likes to be part of a team. Group therapy is no different. Group therapy provides a place for members to discuss emotions and ideas and encourages growth in the idea that one person’s success depends on others’ success as well. Group therapy can take place in a treatment center.
- Yoga for Recovery
- Writting letters
- Meeting and acquaintance with fellow group members
- Discussions sessions
- Ludical activities
Top Models Of Group Treatment
- Groups like this attempt to alter learned behavior by modifying the individual’s beliefs, perceptions, and thinking.
- These groups also use a cognitive-behavioral model to help people deal with triggers and urges. They may also focus on anger management and other problems that may have previously led to substance use.
Interpersonal process groups
- The interpersonal process model focuses on human sociability as it relates to attachment and rivalry. In addition, it emphasizes how connections led to spirituality, culture, and social hierarchies.
- These groups expand the person’s awareness of substance abuse’s medical, behavioral, and psychological consequences. They focus on teaching people how to avoid situations that they associate with using drugs or alcohol.
- Support groups focus on providing support and helping group members manage the issues in their day-to-day lives, make friends, and avoid isolation. These are the groups that people most often think of when they think of group therapy.
Find The Right Treatment Plan For You
Inpatient medical detox and residential primary addiction treatment may be available at our affiliated facility at Level Up West Palm Beach Rehab. For some primary behavioral health treatment clients, medical detox and or addiction rehab may be required first. If you have a co-occurring severe substance abuse diagnosis, please contact us prior to beginning inpatient mental health therapy. Treatment services may vary. Please call us to learn which treatment options are most suited for your individual needs.
Inpatient rehab programs consist of medical treatment, withdrawal management, and individual, family, and group counseling. This combination is essential to treat the overall medical and mental health of the individual in a holistic way. When only one component is address, there is more room for addiction to return.