25 Aug An Overview of Group Therapy in Addiction Treatment
One of the main components of addiction treatment includes the use of various forms of psychotherapy. In other words, psychotherapy is used during addiction treatment to address mental health disorders, trauma, and the underlying causes of drug or alcohol addiction. Among the various types of psychotherapy utilized in addiction treatment, group therapy tends to be the most popular. Group therapy in addiction treatment offers unique benefits and challenges that are effective for patients who are willing and able to use this approach.
In order to provide patients with the best possible care, our drug and alcohol rehab in Delray Beach focuses on facilitating group counseling sessions to build support and camaraderie among our patients. Continue reading to learn about the benefits of this treatment approach.
What is Group Counseling?
Group psychotherapy has been a staple of the treatment of many conditions for decades. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), group therapy is a group of patients (who often share a common experience) led by one or more therapists for development or learning.
The goals of group counseling when used in a substance abuse treatment program include:
- Supporting other group members
- Fostering personal growth
- Social skill development
- Developing interpersonal awareness
- Increasing self-awareness
- Holding accountability
- Understanding internal motivations
Groups may be conducted in a number of ways. For example, groups may focus on a particular mental health issue or a common experience like grief. Also, therapists typically recommend group sessions for patients who are already in individual therapy. This is because group counseling sessions offer additional benefits and perspectives to patients.
Groups may range in size depending on organizational needs and therapist preference. According to the American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA), therapy has an optimal ratio of seven to ten patients per therapist. Besides, groups must be large enough to include varying patient perspectives, without being too large for every patient to feel heard.
How Do Groups Work in Addiction Treatment?
If you or a loved one are interested in participating in group therapy, you must first understand how it works. To begin, group members act in supportive roles or as sounding boards for one another. In other words, patients help each other test out ideas or new behaviors in a safe setting. Also, patients help hold each other accountable for what they say, do, or promise.
Group sessions in addiction treatment follow the stages of group development, which apply to all teams of people who work together:
- Forming: getting to meet and know other group members.
- Storming: allowing potential conflicts and differences of opinion between group members to play out safely and respectfully.
- Norming: having group members begin to understand themselves and each other.
- Performing: excelling as a group with self-aware and group-aware members.
What are the Principles of Group Therapy?
Group therapy typically asks patients to share substantial personal information that can sometimes feel embarrassing or uncomfortable. In order to help keep the environment safe, group therapy utilizes a set of principles.
The principles of this type of therapy include:
- Confidentiality: Of upmost importance, therapists and patients are required to keep all shared information confidential. In other words, patients must not disclose any identifying information of another group member or discuss the sensitive information they may hear outside of the group.
- Safety: The therapist has a responsibility to set up a professional, respectful environment for the group’s members. To explain, the therapist must maintain an environment free of sexual misconduct, discrimination, and harassment. Also, patients are often encouraged to talk to each other about their feelings rather than act them out.
- Participation: All patients are encouraged to participate in the best of their ability. Group therapy relies heavily on the participation of each group member. In other words, without group participation, group therapy cannot be effective.
Types of Group Therapies Used in Addiction Treatment
The styles of group therapy will vary by the therapist. However, most forms of group therapy in Delray Beach can be categorized into one of two primary types:
Psychoeducational therapy teaches patients about specific topics, conditions, and skills. During sessions, the therapist acts as an instructor, encouraging participation from the members. Also, psychoeducational activities include group projects and homework or presentations from group members about particular topics relevant to the group. Lastly, psychoeducational therapy is best suited for patients who need to build specific skills such as relapse prevention, stress management, or sober dating.
During process-oriented group therapy, the experience of being in the group is of utmost importance. To explain, how members relate to one another as well as their therapist providing important information works to create meaningful reactions. Then, these actions will tie into how a patient relates to the world at large.
One of the main aspects of process-oriented therapy is how a patient’s usual patterns of behavior show up in the group. Part of a group member’s therapy is to understand when and where these patterns are useful and when and where they are not. Process-oriented group therapy is especially beneficial for patients who are experiencing problematic behavior patterns or significant life transitions such as recovering from an addiction.
Get Started on the Path to a Better Life
Group therapy is a process intended to discover topics that have created distress in a patient’s life. Because group counseling provides valuable feedback about a patient’s behavior, this form of therapy is tailor-made for addiction and mental health treatment. Whether you are treating addiction or a mental health condition, unlocking the power of group sessions is an immensely rewarding experience.
If you or a loved one is in need of group therapy for addiction recovery, Florida Recovery Group has your back. Contact us today for more information on our addiction treatment programs in Delray Beach, Florida.