Group Therapy Program: Benefits of Group Counseling in Addiction Treatment
Human beings have a natural propensity to congregate in groups. For better or worse, our lives are shaped by our experiences with members of a group, be it our families, friends, social and cultural groups, work colleagues, or religious affiliations. It’s not surprising then that a group therapy program is a compelling tool in substance abuse treatment.
In this article, we look at some of the advantages of participating in a group therapy program for substance use disorders. We also describe the various types of groups used in addiction treatment and give you some pointers on choosing the best group therapy program in Washington State.
Why is group therapy effective in addiction recovery?
We humans are social creatures and have a biological need for contact with others. We rely on various formal and informal groups in times of pain and distress. Also, we use groups to grow in healthy and creative ways. For people battling addiction, a group therapy program is, therefore, a powerful influence that offers stabilization, persuasion, and support.
A group therapy program led by a skilled mental health professional provides comfort, guidance, and insight to people struggling with substance abuse. The inherent curative forces of a group are harnessed and used to foster healthy behaviors in addicted individuals. The group therapy sessions thereby help recovering addicts move towards lasting sobriety.
One can think of a group therapy program as a forum for self-expression, an opportunity to learn from the experiences of others who have battled similar problems, and a chance to develop new social skills.
Simply put, a group therapy program offers a wide range of therapeutic benefits to people with substance use disorders. The benefits of a group therapy program are comparable to individual therapy and may even be more beneficial than one-on-one therapy in certain situations. When treatment is provided as part of a group therapy program, people in recovery have a higher chance of staying abstinent due to affiliation and identification with the group, as well as confrontation from and accountability to other group members.
Types of group therapy in substance abuse treatment
Various types of groups can be included in a group therapy program with different goals and intentions. The common feature of an effective group therapy program for addiction recovery is that it is led by a trained mental health professional who has extensive experience in helping people heal from substance abuse. Some of the types of groups used in addiction treatment include:
- An educational group that teaches members about substance abuse.
- A skill development group that focuses on honing skills that help members avoid drug-seeking behaviors.
- A cognitive-behavioral group therapy program that helps members learn how to rearrange thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
- A support group that comprises members who aid each other in making constructive changes.
- A process group or therapy group that enables clients to recreate their past and understand how certain circumstances led to addiction.
Advantages of group therapy for recovering addicts
If you are struggling with alcohol or drug abuse, joining a group therapy program and sharing your struggle with others can feel overwhelming. However, you should do your best to overcome your misgivings and give serious consideration to such a program because it has many benefits, such as:
- A group therapy program offers peer support but also puts pressure on a person to remain abstinent. Group members are required to commit to attending therapy sessions regularly, be on time, and to treat the group’s time as important.
- Participating in a group therapy program can reduce much of the isolation that many addicts experience. It also helps people identify with others who are challenged by similar problems.
- Groups provide people with substance use disorders a chance to witness the positive effects of addiction treatment, instill a sense of hope about recovery, and thereby become motivated to maintain abstinence.
- A group therapy program allows recovering addicts to learn coping mechanisms from others who are dealing with similar addiction-related issues.
- People who are new to recovery can obtain useful information, resources, and insights from other members of the group.
- Participation in a group therapy program helps people see themselves in a new light, understand their shortcomings, and work on ways to correct them, based on combined feedback from multiple group members and the therapist.
- A group therapy program can become like a family for recovering addicts, many of whom lack healthy social support networks. The group can encourage, support, reinforce, and coach a person and help them move towards lasting sobriety.
- Groups help individuals in recovery learn or relearn social skills and communication skills that can help them cope with problems in their daily lives.
- The combined authority of group members can be very effective in confronting an individual about their addiction.
- A group therapy program is an affordable addiction treatment option because a single mental health professional helps many clients at the same time.
Choosing the best group therapy program in Washington
People with addictions are challenging clients for any mental health professional to treat. A group therapy program is a complex undertaking because it includes many people with varying complex problems. Therefore, a group therapy program requires a vast amount of specialized training, knowledge, and skills. That’s why it’s important to choose a program that is administered by a team of professionals who understand the process and are experienced in managing group dynamics.
Discover Recovery offers an effective group therapy program in Washington, led by masters’ level counselors who have extensive training and experience in leading groups of people dealing with substance abuse. We understand that chemically-dependent individuals seeking addiction treatment have complex psychological problems. Our group therapy program has been developed to address these issues. Our therapists work on developing a clear understanding of each person’s character and adapting the program to meet the needs of each member of the group.
If you or someone you love is battling addiction and could benefit from our group therapy program, get in touch with us today and take the first step towards a better future.