Group therapy is another essential tool used by those who want to recover from drug addiction. It is used alongside various treatments methods such as family and individual therapy to help in overcoming substance abuse. To many, group therapy plays a vital role in addiction recovery. Connecting with people going through the same challenges can help you know that you are not fighting addiction alone.
In addition, group therapy greatly helps battle substance abuse and start a new way of life without substance dependence.
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Group therapy is a type of therapy conducted by several trained therapists to help patients throughout therapy sessions. The difference between group therapy and family therapy is that people involved in group therapy are not related. However, you might find yourself in group therapy with a family member.
Furthermore, the number of patients in group therapy may vary. For example, process groups can have up to 16 people, while psychoeducational groups may have 24 patients. In most cases, the same therapist conducts a group of patients throughout the session to build trust.
The number of group therapy that you will require depends on your needs. However, it is essential to remain in group sessions anywhere between six months to one year.
The objective of group therapy is to help individuals to handle their challenges. For example, if you are suffering from substance use disorder, group therapy will provide encouragement and support to help you overcome substance use by quickening the recovery process.
Identifying when to attend group therapy can be pretty tricky. However, some signs can indicate that you need group therapy. These signs include:
Also, if you are struggling with addiction-related challenges and wish to meet people going through the same issues, group therapy can help. People in group therapy will understand your situation and support you to recover.
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Individuals who are interested in group therapy will be matched with a group that fits their needs. In addition, the therapist will consider the individual’s recovery, emotional stability and treatment preferences.
On the other hand, group therapy might not be a perfect fit for people who:
Women and adolescents should be given special considerations when it comes to group therapy. Research shows that women can overcome substance abuse in groups without men. Further, adolescents can influence each other to use drugs.
Individuals in group therapy are likely to progress through the following three stages:
The beginning phase: In this phase, individuals are just getting started, and they learn groups’ goals and rules.
The middle phase: In this phase, the therapist will use their knowledge to change and modify behaviours to attain the group goals. Members will also bond in this phase.
The ending phase: In this phase, the relationship between the therapists and members don’t end immediately though the group must come to an end. Instead, the ending stage is a gradual process where individuals discuss their accomplishments and the sadness of the group coming to an end.
The roles and responsibilities of group leaders may vary. For example, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers and licensed substance abuse counsellors are some people who can become group leaders.
The group leaders should have the following qualities for a group to be effective:
Group therapy is not just for recovery from addiction; it is proven helpful for various psychological conditions. Some of the conditions that group therapy can help manage are as follows:
Besides, cognitive behavioural therapy can help people handle the following:
The main goal of group therapy is to provide a safe environment where you can talk about complex issues with other members. The do’s and don’ts are:
You can feel free to ask the leader rules and etiquette of your group therapy.
As individual therapy can help you overcome substance use disorder, group therapy also plays an important role.
First, group therapy acts as a minor part of the world. You not only learn how to overcome addiction; you also feel a sense of belonging. Groups come in handy to help you have a sense of belonging and realise that you are not the only one suffering from substance abuse.
Second, groups can help you engage with people suffering from the same issues. Isolation is the main issue that people in recovery suffer from. Groups offer an environment in which you can interact with others and assist one another to maintain abstinence from substance abuse.
Thirdly, therapists in group therapy can offer encouragement and inspire the clients against substance abuse.
Finally, people who have overcome substance abuse usually come to group therapy to offer hope to the clients.
Group therapy comprises a small group of people with a therapist and mostly takes place daily or weekly. Some therapy groups are open, which implies that any other person can become a member at any point during the session. In contrast, other therapy groups are closed, meaning that no client will join the group if they had not joined initially.
For a small group, chairs are arranged in a circle, while for bigger groups, the chairs are arranged in a theatre style facing the front. First, the individuals will be allowed to introduce themselves and explain what brought them there. Then, the therapist will determine what happens next, depending on models of group therapies, for example, support groups, skill development groups, among others.
Members of a group will discuss what they went through earlier and how they deal with substance abuse. Although however, some people prefer not to say anything first and later, they might opt to share their experiences.
Nevertheless, the therapist might introduce learning aids such as visual aids and homework. Members are requested to attend a certain number of sessions to ensure continuity and commitment.
Suppose you desire to engage in group therapy. In that case, there are five models which you can choose from, which includes: Skill development groups, interpersonal process groups, support groups, cognitive behavioral groups, and psychoeducational groups.
By having a capable and proficient treatment professional, each of these models can have extra ordinal advantages for substance abuse treatment. There might be some models which can suit your needs. In addition, there might be various therapy groups that will utilize multiple models throughout the meetings.
Skill development group aims at helping patients with general skills required for a substance-free lifestyle. In this type of group therapy, the therapist usually has a role similar to an instructor. Nevertheless, the materials offered to each client are tailor-made to meet your needs. Interaction with other members is highly recommended in skill development groups.
All these skills are essential in the everyday world and can reduce your chances of relapse during recovery.
These groups revolve around individuals’ issues, critical thinking, and group dynamics. You’ll share a problem and hear responses and possible solutions from peers. Interpersonal process groups typically fill in as a small-scale version of your connections outside treatment. You might relate to group individuals in comparable manners as you do with family and friends and family, so it is an approach to work through a portion of these relationship dynamics and learns better methods to convey.
Interpersonal process groups also focus on your childhood upbringing issues; if they are not resolved, they might lead to unhealthy coping skills and poor decision making. But, conversely, fixing these issues can help one to make a rational decision.
With interpersonal groups, the therapist will observe the interaction and behaviour of the clients and see how their past is affecting their present.
In general, support groups offer care and support to those suffering from substance abuse. The leader gives support to each group member and encourages the members to support each other.
The therapist will help the individuals with regard to working on their interpersonal skills while taking part in different group conversations. In the discussions, the individuals can share their encounters and their difficulties. In addition, other individuals might give their tips on determining and dealing with the troublesome occasions that they encountered or are encountering.
CBT is a commonly used model for group therapies whereby you are taught about counter-attacking negative thoughts. However, to change your behaviours, you have to learn how to overcome your negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, making you abuse drugs.
For example, individuals may think they are evil and don’t deserve a good life without drugs. CBT will help individuals identify their biased beliefs, encourage a new way of thinking, and offer training to prevent relapse.
The focal point of this model is to have the option to give the group information and schooling with regards to the general topics of substance use, psychological wellness, as well as different practices related to drug addiction.
Psychoeducational groups work by taking a setting similar to a classroom set-up. Different materials are introduced through talks and recordings, among others.
Additionally, this specific model can be advantageous for substance abuse and addiction cases because the individuals from the group can find out many effects of substance abuse, their condition, what obstructs their recovery, and how to begin a drug-free way of life.
Individuals can gain different skills from this treatment model, such as good dieting, meditation, and anger management.
Group therapy sessions can be beneficial and assist you in maintaining long-term sobriety. The primary concern of joining group therapy may be having a conversation with strangers about your addiction life. You might feel vulnerable and intimidated since this is a new environment. But it is essential to know the benefits of group therapy and how it will help you deal with substance abuse. They are:
Loneliness is common to substance abuse addicts. Many addicts suffer from loneliness because their relatives or close friends isolate them. This makes the addicts continue using the substances in more doses aggravating the addiction.
Joining therapy groups will help you realise that you are not struggling alone. Other people are undergoing the same situation, and they will understand you. In addition, recognising that you share many things in common with other group members will offer additional support, inspiration and encouragement because you will develop and grow new relationships.
The best thing that you will get in group therapy is to become more grounded with your peers rather than dealing with addiction issues alone. Members of a group feel that they are on the same boat and sailing towards a common objective. In the recovery journey, the individuals will think that they are liable and responsible to one another.
There are a lot of significant benefits that individuals might get from mutual responsibility. For instance, when one of your group members has a relapse, you can help him get over that difficult stage. In addition, shared responsibility is one of the most vital factors in making drug addiction successful. This is because the individuals will try not to let each other down by going back to substance abuse.
Individuals battling with addictions usually don’t have someone to talk to. They don’t have a safe place where they can express their feelings and emotions. For this reason, this can lead the individual to relapse.
In group therapy, you will encounter people with the same problem just like you. Then, you can share your thoughts and feelings with the rest members of the group.
Other advantages of group therapy are:
Groups have many people who have a broader viewpoint than in the one-on-one session.
Groups can offer a new family set-up, and you will have a sense of belonging.
Groups offer confrontations due to the denial caused by addiction.
Daily or weekly sessions can help you manage your cravings.
Group therapy is much economical than individual therapy, especially if an addict is on a tight budget.
A therapist can handle many individuals at once quickly.
There is no specific timeframe since some groups are limited by time, and others can last indefinitely.
Look for a treatment centre that has a professional therapist and offers affordable services within your budget limit.
As a reputable facility helping people having substance abuse problems, we are here to help you come out of that struggle. You don’t have to fight alone. Please call 02039557700, and our experienced advisors are available to help you.
Nicholas Conn is a leading industry addiction expert who runs the UK’s largest addiction advisory service and is regularly featured in the national press, radio and TV. He is the founder and CEO of a drug and alcohol rehab center called Help4addiction, which was founded in 2015. He has been clean himself since 2009 and has worked in the Addiction and Rehab Industry for over a decade. Nick is dedicated to helping others recover and get treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. In 2013, he released a book ‘The Thin White’ line that is available on Amazon.
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