What Is Group Therapy?
Group therapy is one way that clients can receive the support they need during an addiction therapy program. The therapy offers a safe space for you to share your feelings, experiences, successes, and struggles with other clients walking a similar journey toward overcoming addiction. Group counseling will be facilitated by a therapist who will work with their clients to enable self-discovery without the fear of judgment. Groups can be as small as three clients, but group therapy can often consist of anywhere between 8 to 12 people. The bonds you will make during counseling within the group during treatment can be essential in preventing relapse once individuals return home.
Typically, the group will meet in a room with chairs arranged in a circle so that each client can see every person in the session. Clients will be encouraged to introduce themselves, share why they are in group therapy, talk about their experiences and give the group updates on progress since the last meeting.
Group therapy has been proven beneficial when used in tandem with other standard protocols in the treatment of:
- Substance use disorder
- Alcohol use disorder
- Other addictions, such as shopping or gambling
- Mental health disorders
- Anger management
What Are The Benefits of Group Therapy?
During group therapy sessions, you will be interacting with like-minded patients in a safe place, holding each other accountable, and sharing personal stories in a supportive setting. In doing so, group counseling helps to build understanding and skills. It offers several other benefits, including:
- Reducing the risk of relapse
- Developing self-care strategies
- Improving your coping skills
- Boosting self-esteem
- Reducing stress
- Teaching empathy
- Increasing your self-understanding
- Improving your well-being
- Decreasing shame
- Fostering a sense of belonging and purpose
It can be empowering to safely share with other people who are going through similar things in life. In fact, being vulnerable and saying your story out loud is an essential part of the recovery process because when you realize that there are others facing and working to overcome similar addictions and disorders, you will be spurred on to open up, take on board new ideas, and receive the social interaction and connect necessary for happiness. And all of that will go a long way to preventing relapse.
The Types of Group Therapy in Rehab
There are several different kinds of group therapy. The approach, usage, and effectiveness of each will vary based on the disorders you are suffering from and looking to overcome. The most common types of group therapy are:
Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps address the following concerns in order to reshape thinking and behavior:
- Unhelpful ways of thinking
- Learned patterns of behavior
- A belief that people can learn better ways of coping with those thoughts and patterns
- Relieving a person’s symptoms
This type of group counseling experience will focus on your interpersonal relationships and social interactions. You will discuss and receive feedback on how much support you have from other people in your life and the impact these relationships have on your mental health and substance use disorder.
12-Step Support Groups
Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous groups are capable of helping individuals suffering from a variety of different mental health conditions. This style of group therapy also exists to assist the loved ones of those clients who are working through mental health issues and substance use disorders.