Group Therapy for Addiction

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Many people new to recovery can be wary of group therapy for addiction. This is understandable as speaking about personal problems and volatile emotions among a group of strangers can be intimidating.

It doesn’t need to be that way, though. Indeed, many of those reluctant to open up in group therapy at first soon find group counseling for addiction is a rewarding and therapeutic experience.

Group therapy allows treatment providers to streamline delivery of therapy and lets those in recovery get more hours of treatment at a lower cost, but there are many further benefits to counseling and therapy in a group setting.

What Happens During Group Therapy Sessions?

Group therapy for addiction treatment can be effective in many levels of care and therapeutic settings, including:

  • Hospital-based inpatient treatment
  • Residential rehab
  • Outpatient rehab
  • Virtual rehab

According to SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), group therapy can be as effective as individual therapy for those committed to ending substance use and engaging with recovery.

Unlike family therapy, members in group therapy sessions do not typically have a pre-existing relationship. Many groups will request that members do not spend time together outside of the group for the duration of the program.

A trained therapist conducts group therapy sessions for addiction. In peer support group sessions, by contrast, there is no experienced leader guiding sessions.

Group size will vary from 16 to 24 people who will meet with the same therapist to promote trust within the group.

The number of group therapy sessions you need will also vary according to your requirements and the severity of your addiction. Most group therapy programs run for anywhere from 30 days in residential rehab to six months or more in an outpatient setting.

The format of sessions is also fluid, varying between therapists and the type of group therapy – see below for a breakdown of the most common types of group counseling.

These are the four most common models used for group therapy sessions for the treatment of addiction and mental health disorders:

  1. CBT groups
  2. Skill development groups
  3. Psychoeducational groups
  4. Interpersonal process groups

1) CBT groups

CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) is a form of psychotherapy proven effective for treating both addiction and mental health disorders.

In group CBT sessions for substance abuse, you will be guided to accomplish behavioral change by:

●  Identifying problematic behaviors and distorted beliefs.

●  Learning and implementing new patterns of thinking and behaving.

●  Exploring relapse prevention strategies.

2) Skill development groups

Skill development group sessions for drug addiction and alcoholism involve group members interacting with each other. A group leader will direct sessions with topics including:

  • Identifying and improving responses to anger.
  • Managing personal triggers for substance abuse
  • strengthening parenting skills
  • Improving communication skills
  • Becoming more financially responsible

3) Psychoeducational groups

The core focus of psychoeducational groups is imparting information and education on all aspects of substance abuse and mental health issues, as well as the consequences of those behaviors.

Through psychoeducational group therapy, you can learn about the impact of substance abuse and how to thrive rather than simply survive in your new sobriety.

4) Interpersonal process groups

Interpersonal process group sessions focus on the following:

  • How group members are feeling
  • How group members are functioning within the group
  • How group members are interacting with one another
  • Overall group performance

The primary focus of these groups is on how childhood issues and emotional development can lead to impaired decision making and unhealthy coping mechanisms. The content of sessions is less important to the group leader than the behaviors and interactions of the group members.

Group sizes tend to be slightly smaller for this type of group therapy.

What are the Benefits of Group Therapy for Substance Abuse?

Although group therapy may lack the personalized laser focus of individual therapy, you can expect to achieve the following benefits:

1. Group therapy provides a safe and secure environment: As you consistently meet with the same group of people, you will become more confident and more self-assured. You can discuss any roadblocks on your recovery journey, as well as any challenges and triggers. Group members can offer a powerful sense of support as you move into ongoing recovery. Developing a robust sober support network is a critical part of sustained recovery without relapse.

2. You get the chance to give and receive support: In addition to receiving support when you need it, you can also share your coping strategies and viewpoints with other group members. This can boost your self-confidence and foster a sense of camaraderie within the group.

3. Group sessions help you to strengthen your communication skills: By actively listening and participating in group therapy sessions, you will improve your communication skills. This can help in all other areas of your life as you repair relationships damaged by the consequences of your substance abuse.

4. Peer support reinforces the fact you are not alone in your recovery: Many of those grappling with addiction feel intensely isolated, lonely, and misunderstood. By interacting with peers in recovery, you will be reassured that you are not going through this alone.

5. Group counseling sessions expose you to a broad range of feedback: In one-to-one therapy sessions, you will only receive feedback from your therapist. In group sessions, on the other hand, you’ll get additional feedback from multiple peers.

6. You can implement new skills in group sessions: Group sessions offer the ideal setting in which you can implement the coping skills and strategies you are learning in your recovery.

Addiction Group Therapy in Cincinnati, Ohio

All of our treatment programs at Ohio Recovery Centers offer access to group counseling for drug addiction or alcoholism as a core component of programming. We also offer treatment programs for mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, and PTSD co-occurring with addiction. Again, group counseling will play a central role in treatment.

Choose the type of program that best fits the severity of your addiction and your personal circumstances. We provide therapy at the following levels on American Society of Addiction Medicine’s continuum of care as follows:

●  MAT (medication-assisted treatment)

●  PHP (partial hospitalization program)

●  IOP (intensive outpatient program)

Kickstart your recovery at Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers and tackle the physical and psychological component of addiction to drink or drugs. Contact us online right here or call 513-757-5000 for immediate assistance.

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