Individuals who are addicted to substances often face a plethora of behavioral, psychological, and emotional issues. In order for treatment programs to be as effective as possible, they must provide programming that addresses all of the issues that have added to the addiction itself. Group therapy is an integral part of effective programming, and can help patients understand why and how they came to abuse substances in the first place.
Group therapy, as the term implies, is a therapeutic experience that includes multiple patients. Small group therapy sessions are led by one counselor, while larger group therapy sessions are held by more than one counselor.
Similar to individual therapy, group therapy plays a vital role in addiction treatment, as it helps patients identify and address the behavioral and emotional issues that have added to their addictions. Addiction hardly ever develops for no reason, as outside factors such as pressure, self-esteem issues, trauma, abuse, mood disorders, and more can add to the development of an addiction. Group therapy offers up a venue to work through and talk about these issues as they pertain to addiction and recovery.
Group therapy is effective for a number of reasons, but especially because of the skills of the counselor who is in charge of the session and the group members who add their insights and experiences to the group. Below are some of the fundamental goals and principles of group therapy:
- Universality – Alleviating feelings of isolation by highlighting the shared experiences and feelings of group members
- Self-understanding – Growing insightful to one’s own issues through listening to the struggles and successes of others
- Interpersonal learning – Expanding one’s education by learning from the thoughts and experiences of others all while contributing one’s own personal testimonies
- Altruism – Seeing the value of adding to the betterment of others’ lives
- Hope – Knowing that others have overcome similar battles to one’s own, and feeling like one can accomplish the same achievements
- Information – Gathering more information regarding the disease of addiction and the recovery process
- Imitative behavior – Establishing skills that come from watching the positive behaviors of others in the group and the counselor
- Cohesiveness – Feeling like one belongs, has purpose, and is validated through sharing his or her personal experiences with others in the group
- Catharsis – Alleviating oneself from the shame and upset that comes from emotional pain by talking about challenges in public
At Northeast Pennsylvania Comprehensive Treatment Centers, we value group therapy as an integral part of a complete medication assisted treatment program. By joining together counselors and patients in a structured and warm environment, setbacks and achievements can be put into the proper vantage point. Group therapy is effective in providing vital information, support, and therapeutic insights that can improve upon the outcomes of a patient’s participation in a medication assisted treatment program.
There is no one medication or treatment approach that can solve all of an individual’s issues related to addiction. Within a medication assisted treatment program, a comprehensive approach must be implemented so that success can be yielded amongst those who are striving to end their substance abuse. Group therapy is critical to making this become a reality.
If you or someone you love needs group therapy and the other aspects of care that we provide, please contact us right now.