Individuals who are struggling with addiction often battle psychological, physical, emotional, and behavioral difficulties. In order for the recovery process to be successful, treatment programs must be prepared to fully address each of the issues that have either caused or were exasperated by addiction. Group therapy sessions can be vital in helping achieve this goal.
As the term implies, group therapy is an experience that includes participation from numerous individuals. These sessions typically involve one therapist who is leading a small group of participants, however for larger groups, more than one therapist will lead.
Similar to individual therapy, group therapy is geared towards helping patients identify and address emotional and behavioral factors that have added to their substance abuse problems. Addiction does not develop out of thin air; rather, it often occurs as a result of external issues including pressure, stress, self-esteem problems, trauma, abuse, mood disorders, and more. Group therapy offers up a space for patients to explore these issues as they pertain to them and their addiction.
Group therapy is able to be as effective as it is because of the skills of the counselor and the participation of patients who share their experiences, insights, and thoughts. Below are some of the fundamental objectives of group therapy:
- Catharsis – Obtaining relief from feelings of shame or other painful emotions by talking through them publicly
- Universality – Alleviating one’s feelings of isolation by emphasizing the shared feelings and experiences of others in the group
- Cohesiveness – Feeling like one belongs, has purpose, and can be validated by sharing one’s experiences.
- Self-understanding – Obtaining strong insight into one’s own problems by listening to others share their achievements and obstacles
- Imitative behavior – Creating new skills by watching the positive behaviors of both the counselor and other group participants
- Interpersonal learning – Learning from the experiences and thoughts of others, all while feeling comfortable sharing one’s own experiences and thoughts
- Hope – Seeing that others have overcome similar struggles and feeling like one can do the same
- Altruism – Knowing the value of adding to the betterment of other’s lives
At Northeast Comprehensive Treatment Centers, we value group therapy and view it as a pivotal part of our comprehensive medication assisted treatment. By joining counselors and patients together in a secure and supportive environment, we help establish a collaborative and productive forum where challenges and successes can be put into the appropriate perspective and talked through in ways that benefit all involved. Group therapy offers up critical information, therapeutic insights, and extended support that can dramatically improve a patient’s ability to achieve long-term recovery.
There is no medication, technique, or therapeutic modality that can cure an individual’s substance abuse problems. Instead, each of these elements is blended into a complete approach within a comprehensive treatment program to provide each patient with the best chance of developing a healthier lifestyle. Group therapy is critical in helping accomplish this goal.
If you or someone you love could benefit from group therapy and the additional aspects of our complete treatment program, please contact us right away.