Group Therapy for Addiction
Group therapy is an essential part of substance abuse treatment for substance abuse. People who start their clinical recovery journey often feel alone and isolated. Group therapy gives the patient a type of community where they can communicate with other people who are going through the same process they are. Substance abuse treatment is essential to a better life for you and your family.
Individual therapy allows the patient to bring up issues that they don’t want to discuss in group and group might help a patient start to feel comfortable enough to share certain issues that they have been struggling with within both group and individual therapy sessions.
It is not usually recommended for a patient to only utilize individual therapy or group therapy. Both are important for building the tools for a lasting road to recovery. At Free by the Sea, we provide substance abuse group therapy as well as other healing tools to help you find your road to recovery throughout our quality addiction treatment program. We’ll help you find the therapy group that works best for you.
What are the Different Types of Substance Abuse Group Therapy?
There are several different types of therapy groups. The therapy portion of your clinical recovery treatment may involve more than one type of group therapy type.
Increased Sense of Self
The holistic approach puts a focus on the whole self. This allows a better understanding of some aspects that would normally be left out in the more traditional forms of assessment and treatment.
The more traditional forms of assessment mostly dwell on the usual or more common issues relevant to addiction. Should this type of assessment not prove to be enough, only then would the other possible causes or issues be explored.
Standard holistic addiction treatment takes a broader approach to assessment and looks at every possible angle, allowing a greater and deeper look into what might be wrong.
A deeper and greater understanding of the entire being provides a better sense of what else could be wrong. This allows multiple facets to be looked at more closely, and all at once, instead of just trying to look at either a physical or psychological issue.
As the focus of holistic addiction treatment is the entire self, all of the issues get to be addressed. This scope could even address potential issues before they become actual problems.
Incidental Treatment of Depression and Anxiety
Many of the activities and approaches used in holistic treatment employ methods that involve meditation, exercise, and physical activities known to make a person feel better and give a sense of accomplishment.
These things are also incidentally the non-medication-related things suggested to people who suffer from depression and other anxiety disorders. By eliminating these underlying issues, any further complication to therapy is removed, increasing the chances of successful treatment.
Used as a treatment for substance abuse, the holistic approach also comes with specific benefits.
Aid in Dealing with Difficult Withdrawal Symptoms
Certain withdrawal symptoms make rehabilitation and recovery even more difficult. This includes symptoms that induce pain, muscle spasms, and other conditions brought on by substance abuse.
The holistic approach makes use of alternative methods such as massage and acupuncture, traditionally used to deal with a host of deep tissue issues.
Aid in Dealing with Compulsive Behavior Associated with Substance Abuse
The holistic method also teaches a person to internalize and take a long, hard look at how much worse things have become since they started abusing substances.
This approach is done to help in dealing with the developed compulsions that come with substance abuse, such as the need to abuse them. By understanding how impactful the inability to resist compulsion is, the hope is that the person realizes how much sobriety is a matter of choice.
Aid in Building Spiritual Grounding
Many believe that only evidence-based methods grounded in absolute science could help in treating substance abuse issues. This credibility could be attributed to the fact that these evidence-based methods produce data used in comparative studies.
There are those, however, who believe true healing comes with spiritual grounding, where a person’s belief plays a crucial part in motivating a person to want to get better. This motivating force actually has a basis in psychology, where a person’s absolute mindset helps in improving their health and also aids in weeding out activities that contribute to self-harm.
Aid in Creating Healthy Habits
An integral part of the rehabilitation process is the development of habits that would help a person become healthy again. This includes learning to eat healthily and avoid vices and other activities that could eventually lead to substance abuse once more.
The holistic method takes a more unified approach to this with the introduction of a healthy lifestyle, complete with activities such as meditation, yoga, and exercise, as the goal is to not only feel healthy but also to feel good about the entire process.
What Are Some Benefits of Group Therapy?
A big benefit of any sort of group therapy is that if a participant feels uncomfortable sharing, doesn’t feel like they have much to say on the topic, or otherwise can’t or doesn’t want to contribute, they can still benefit by listening to other group members’ input. Knowing and hearing that others are going through the same struggles they are can make the group participants feel less alone.
Often a group setting, especially one where the same participants come to every meeting, can build a sense of community for the participants. As they get to know each other better they may begin to feel more comfortable sharing personal experiences and problems. This feeling might not be as common in therapy groups where the same individuals are not always present.
Individual Psychotherapy and Group Therapy Work Well Together
Group therapy and individual therapy can play off each other in a very beneficial way. During individual therapy, individuals can explore personal issues in a more confidential setting. They might also discuss things that they are not comfortable with having others know. The patient then might take those issues to group therapy and use the group as a sounding board to bounce various ideas off and get more feedback.
If it is a topic that the patient does not want to talk about, they can still listen and bring up new ideas and thoughts with their individual therapist at their next session. The benefits go the other way too. A patient might become aware of an issue they might have never thought of during group therapy. They can continue to explore it in a more private setting during individual therapy.
One of the benefits of having a professional lead the group is that the leader has the authority to mediate and bring balance to the discussion. When a professional leads the group, it can help the overall structure of the group. The professional can also help to encourage participants to explore different topics that they personally need to address instead of focusing on socializing with each other.
Denial is one of the biggest problems patients face before, and to some degree during, their clinical recovery journey. Like most therapeutic tools, group therapy is also geared towards breaking through that denial completely.
Every trained group therapist has a different approach. There are many theories out there about the most beneficial way to lead and work with patients with an addiction disorder in a clinical setting. Many therapists modify different treatment theories to create a unique and beneficial experience for their clients. Every group is influenced by both the participants and the professional group leader.
Can Member-Led Group Therapies be Beneficial?
Group therapy sessions without professional supervision can sometimes be helpful. Two examples of these groups are twelve-step groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). These can be used during addiction treatment to create structure and community.
AA and NA are both self-governing and self-sufficient. Many clients who are discharged from their clinical recovery center are referred to a 12-step program. However, it is very important to find a group that works for you and is comfortable. Being uncomfortable in a group does not mean that it is a bad group, it just means that it might not be the right one for you. Even if it is a closed group in which a slot just opened or a group that one of your friends goes to, it is important to remember that you feel comfortable in the group.
Where Can I Find Group Therapy Outside the Clinic?
Once a client completes their clinical recovery journey, they may find that they can continue to benefit from group therapy. Many mental health offices either provide group therapy or know where and how you can find meetings that will suit you as an individual.
These groups may or may not have a trained therapeutic leader. Many groups can be very beneficial and constructive outside of residential treatment whether or not they have a therapeutic leader. Often residential treatment programs give clients the tools and experience they need to succeed in a group therapy setting even if there is no therapeutic leader.
There are many Support Groups Available
There are many support groups around the country and several groups which are nationwide. This means that if you are in a different area and you experience cravings or any other indicators that your road to recovery might be at risk, you can visit other groups. They might be strangers but they have the same goal you do. A long-lasting road to recovery starts with quality addiction treatment.
Many therapeutic tools are available even at the beginning of your road to recovery. The input of other people who are going through the same struggle as you can be emotionally healing in itself. Relapse prevention involves self-help groups and evidence-based group therapy models.
Addiction Treatment at Free by the Sea
Addiction and drug abuse might make you feel isolated. But there is a community of people, all in various stages of their road to recovery, who can support and help you. When it comes to substance use disorder treatment, the group process can create a supportive environment for everyone involved. One of the first steps on your road to recovery is actively seeking help. When you are ready to start your healing journey, contact us today.