What Is Group Therapy?
Group Therapy is typically what people imagine when they first think of drug rehabilitation treatment due to its depictions in films and television. Research has continuously found that Group Therapy for drug and alcohol addiction is immensely successful in maintaining abstinence and improved well-being.
We ensure that each group contains a small number of individuals who broadly share similarities in their situation and circumstances. This could be in terms of what substances they’re in treatment for or similar diagnoses for other disorders.
A group will likely contain 6 to 12 people, and be led by a group facilitator and co-facilitator who have a high level of skill and experience, and are trained to encourage the group to share their feelings and experiences. The overarching aim of Group Therapy is to establish a sense of trust, respect, and understanding between each group member and the facilitators. It is vital that people feel that they can share openly and honestly without fear of judgment, belittlement, or criticism.
Group Therapy has proven to be highly effective in treating addictions and is available to people seeking support for as long as they need it. Sessions are scheduled regularly, and while they require a certain level of participation, there is no pressure to share more information than you feel comfortable with.
What Happens in Group Therapy?
It is natural to feel nervous and apprehensive about entering into a treatment program; let alone joining a group of people you don’t know, and sharing details of your life that you may feel defensive, guilty, ashamed, angry, and upset about. We understand the mix of emotions treatment programs can elicit on every level, and we strive to alleviate as much anxiety as is reasonably possible for you prior to entering the group, by providing as much information as we can.
The initial stage of Group Therapy is based on establishing a trusting atmosphere in the room. Members will start small with a basic introduction about themselves, including their name, the reason they joined a treatment program, and what they hope for in the future, and each person is gradually encouraged to share.
Over time this will begin to increase in depth and detail as one’s confidence and trust in the group grows, and it can become an enjoyable as well as a beneficial element of treatment. Group members are encouraged to support and challenge one another but also be respectful of other group members and their own journey in recovery.
It can also be a great exercise in developing and strengthening empathy for group members that may lack awareness of the impact their behavior has, which could be a result of their drug or alcohol abuse.
Is Group Therapy Right for Me?
If you or a loved one have recognized that the relationship you have with drugs or alcohol is affecting various aspects of your life, is preventing you from doing the things you used to enjoy, and is beginning to impact those around you; it is likely that you may require professional support for addiction.
Group Therapy is a fundamental element for addiction treatment and has highly successful outcomes for the people who attend. Not only can it help address and treat the addiction, but it also helps to address the subsequent strains on the addicted individual’s relationships, but the impact addiction has also had on employment or education, and the anxiety which may have resulted as a result of financial issues.
It can be an understandably daunting prospect for different reasons for different people; however, this is also the key to group therapy success, as it has something to offer each personality type and set of circumstances. There could be members who rely heavily on the approval of others, those who struggle to show empathy or listen to differing points of view, or others that find it difficult to show vulnerability or share emotions. Group Therapy aims to strengthen all psycho-educational skills through group work, depending on what needs are brought to the session.
Ultimately, Group Therapy is a perfect example of ‘getting out what you put in’, and the more an individual invests into the group, the more they will learn about themselves and others, and how to combat the destructive coping strategies and difficulties in communication that addiction can cause and exacerbate.
What Can I Expect From Group Therapy?
One of the major objectives of Group Therapy is to encourage group members to be honest and learn to express their emotions in a controlled and constructive way. The way group members interact with each other is a good indicator of how they are feeling about themselves, and Group Therapy is an excellent way to reflect this back to the individual, increasing their understanding of themselves and their addiction.
This increased sense of self-awareness and improved ability to relate and communicate with others, especially around some contentious and difficult subjects has been proven to be hugely beneficial when recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. Despite the group being tailored to ensure people with similar diagnoses and symptoms are together, there will be differences of opinion from time to time. Group Therapy teaches members to accept these differences and respond in a measured and constructive way, which boosts self-esteem and encourages healthy relationships which are vital to recovery.
Another fundamental aim of Group Therapy is to reduce the stigma and shame that many addicts face. We understand that addiction is a psychological disease and not a sign that someone is devoid of morals or compassion for others. We believe that change is possible, and through Group Therapy sessions, members can use the positive steps they have made to inspire others and show that it is possible to overcome addiction.
We achieve this through our highly skilled group therapists sharing their personal journeys of addiction with honesty, openness, vulnerability, and ownership, and inviting the other members to do the same.
Find Out More
To learn more about what Group Therapy can offer you or your loved one, or to find out more about any of our services, please get in touch using any of the contact methods listed below. We aim to answer all your questions and provide you with as much information as possible.