Those who are addicted to substances battle against emotional, behavioral, physical, and psychological issues. To provide the most effective care possible, treatment programs must help patients acknowledge all of these issues and how they relate to the development and/or the continuation of their addictions. Group therapy can be an excellent resource in helping accomplish this.
Group therapy, a therapeutic intervention that includes numerous patients, is held in small sessions that are led by one counselor. In some cases, there are larger sessions that will be led by more than one counselor.
As with individual therapy, the role of group therapy in a treatment program is to help patients identify and work through the many factors and behaviors that have added to their addiction. Addiction does not develop out of thin air; rather it is generally caused by external issues including stress, self-esteem problems, trauma, and other such turmoil. Group therapy can offer patients an environment to process and explore these issues and others related to recovery and substance abuse.
Group therapy is effective because of the skill of the counselor, as well as because of those patients who participate in each session by sharing their insights, thoughts, and experiences. Below are the fundamental objectives of group therapy:
- Universality – Relieving oneself from feelings of isolation by showing the commonality between oneself and other group members
- Self-understanding – Obtaining insight into one’s problems through listening to other group members process theirs
- Interpersonal learning – Learning from the experiences and thoughts of others in the group, all while being able to freely share one’s own emotions and expressions based on newfound understanding
- Altruism – Seeing the value in contributing to the betterment of the lives of others
- Hope – Knowing that others have overcome challenges similar to one’s own and believing that one can also overcome obstacles
- Information – Getting more of an insight into the disease of addiction and the process of recovery
- Imitative behavior – Establishing new coping skills through watching the positive behaviors of other group members and the counselor
- Cohesiveness – Obtaining a feeling of belonging, purpose, and validation by going through the therapeutic process alongside others.
- Catharsis – Relieving oneself of shame or other emotional strife by publically speaking on one’s challenges
At Southeastern Pennsylvania Comprehensive Treatment Centers, we know the value of group therapy when it is included into a medication assisted treatment program. By joining both counselors and patients together in one safe and welcoming space, we are able to encourage productivity and collaboration in ways that help effectively address challenges and successes. Within a group therapy setting, vital information, support, and therapeutic insights are offered and can help reduce a patient’s likelihood of relapsing.
There is no one medication that will serve as a quick fix for an individual who is addicted to opioids. When medications are combined with additional services, individuals obtain a comprehensive approach to recovery that is proven successful in putting an end to addiction. Therefore, group therapy is viewed as essential in this setting.
If you or someone you love could benefit from group therapy and the other aspects of medication assisted treatment, contact us right now.