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Group Therapy for Addiction Treatment

Medically reviewed by

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

Group therapy is an effective treatment for overcoming substance abuse and addiction. Our treatment programs offer several types of group therapy used to teach patients valuable recovery skills and promote personal growth.

Group Therapy for Addiction Treatment

Addiction is a lonely struggle that can cause many people to become detached from the people around them, including their loved ones. At Addiction Campuses, a large focus we have within our programs is connecting people with a healthy support system. One of the most effective ways we do this is by offering group therapy.

Group therapy refers to any group of two or more people that come together for peer discussion, group activities, or skills-learning. This form of therapy offers a safe and confidential setting for people to share their experiences, learn from others, and acquire healthy skills to aid them in each stage of sobriety.

There are various types of group therapy that can be used to treat addiction, including expressive therapy groups, psychoeducational groups, and process groups. These can be beneficial for treating substance abuse directly, as well as related issues such as anxiety, depression, denial, and feelings of shame.

Group therapy is an integral part of our Addiction Campuses rehab programs. In addition to individual therapy and medication-assisted treatment, group therapy is considered one of the most effective ways to heal from addiction and achieve lifelong recovery.

Types Of Groups Therapy

Group therapy comes in many forms, but share a common goal of healing. Many groups for addiction recovery are discussion-based but can sometimes involve activities led by an addiction counselor or specialist.

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Groups can also vary in size, how they are led, and their specific goals and intentions. By offering an array of therapeutic services, our programs allow each patient to find the support that best meets their needs.

The types of group therapy our treatment programs offer include:

  • cognitive-behavioral groups
  • skills development groups
  • interpersonal process groups
  • psychoeducational groups
  • expressive groups (e.g. art, music, dance)
  • 12-step meetings
  • support groups with specific focuses (e.g. trauma, gender-specific issues, dual-diagnosis, spirituality)

Our groups are conducted in a controlled, non-judgmental environment and typically facilitated by one or more addiction counselors for the purpose of guiding discussions. Counselors can also encourage patients to observe, share their thoughts, and be open to constructive feedback. The groups offered within our treatment programs may vary by location.

What Are The Benefits Of Group Therapy?

Group therapy offers a number of advantages for people overcoming addiction, including a greater likelihood of staying sober and retaining a commitment for recovery.

Much of the driving force behind this is the social connection built in these spaces. Therapy in a group setting can build a powerful source of support, stabilization, and positive reinforcement.

Additional benefits of attending group therapy for addiction include:

  • Gain new skills: Psychoeducational and skill-building groups can teach people valuable tools to aid them on their path towards recovery, such as: communication tools, healthy coping strategies, relapse prevention skills, and managing finances. This can be very valuable for those in early sobriety, as well as those who are seeking treatment for the first time.
  • Multiple perspectives: Examining a situation or a struggle alone, or even with just one other person, can be limiting. Within a group setting, multiple people can offer their perspectives and personal insight based on their experiences.
  • Positive and constructive feedback: Group therapy provides a space for people to talk about difficult experiences and request constructive feedback or advice from others. This can be helpful in order to challenge irrational beliefs, gain validation, and improve problem-solving skills. Patients can also offer encouragement for one another and highlight each other’s abilities and successes.
  • Accountability: Attending and participating in support groups is a helpful way for people to remain accountable in sobriety. On an outpatient level, attending groups can provide beneficial structure and support in people’s everyday lives.
  • Inspiration: One of the greatest benefits of group therapy is being able to witness the successes of others in recovery. This can be very powerful for people who may be struggling with their own sobriety and need an additional push for motivation. It can also keep people motivated to stay on a healthy path and continue challenging their triggers.

Treatment Programs For Group Therapy

Group therapy can be conducted in a variety of settings depending on the level of care that is needed and may include:

Most people begin their treatment within an inpatient program specialized to treat substance abuse and addiction. After completing an inpatient program, patients will often continue attending support groups in their community as part of their aftercare. This may include attending groups hosted by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), and others offered by local treatment centers or organizations.

Recovering from substance abuse is a long-term process. Many people find it helpful to continue attending groups for some time as a way to stay on track in their recovery and remain connected to others facing and overcoming their own challenges.

Group Therapy At Addiction Campuses

One of the most valuable aspects of entering an addiction treatment program is the opportunity to observe and learn from others who have been where you are. Whether you are entering treatment for the first time, or have a history of rehab stays, no one treatment stay is the same.

Attending our groups is an effective way for patients to learn what has worked for others, reflect on their own experiences, and develop new skills for a happy and balanced life in sobriety. This may involve attending groups once a day or multiple times a day depending on the program’s schedule.

At Addiction Campuses, we know how lonely it can be in the depths of your addiction. Whether you are at rock bottom seeking help, or need additional support to strengthen your recovery, our treatment centers offer various programs suited to meet each person’s individual needs.

Contact us today to learn more about our group therapy offerings and find an Addiction Campuses treatment program that meets your needs.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64223/

Medically reviewed by

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC
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