When people think about rehab, they often imagine one-on-one counseling sessions and yoga. While it’s true that these are typical components of a treatment plan, they’re far from the only ones. Drug rehabs offer a number of different types of therapy to help address mental health in unique ways. Family therapy, art therapy, and group therapy are all aspects of a typical day. So how does group therapy impact drug rehab treatment?
First, it’s important to understand exactly what group therapy is. Group therapy is a term that refers to any therapy that aims to reduce symptoms in at least two people simultaneously. There are different group therapy models that serve different purposes and functions.
A typical group therapy session is led by a session leader. Group therapy differs from family therapy in that the members of the group don’t generally have a pre-existing social relationship.
Because every individual is unique, you might find some group therapy models more effective than others. That’s why a customized treatment plan is so vital when treating addiction.
How Does Group Therapy Impact Drug Rehab Treatment?
Group therapy is practiced in nearly every treatment environment. Psychiatric hospitals, residential treatment centers, and outpatient mental health centers all offer group therapy services. Ongoing group therapy is a common part of aftercare plans once an individual has completed their inpatient treatment.
Studies have been done regarding the efficacy of group therapy. They have shown that for people in recovery from drug addiction, group therapy sessions have similar levels of effectiveness to individual sessions.
Of course, the benefit will depend largely on the individual. Some people may get more out of one-on-one sessions, where they can focus more on themselves. Some people may get more out of a group setting in which they can learn from other people and make connections.
Group therapy has a documented impact on the recovery process. Studies indicate that participation in group therapy can reduce the risk of long-term relapse.
During a group therapy session, individuals receive information about recovery. They are educated about the process of recovering, becoming self-aware, and developing healthy coping mechanisms.
Group therapy also has more incentives than individual therapy. People are more likely to feel motivated to recover when they want to please their peers. The peer support also provides connections that can’t be fostered between a client and counselor.
In addition, group members can learn from other people. You get to listen to other people’s problems and find out how they solved the issue. This shows you that you aren’t alone in your struggles, and it can help give you important perspective regarding your own problem-solving strategies.
Many group therapy models focus on healthy coping skills. The goal is to teach group members to recognize, process, and express their emotions in healthy ways instead of using substances.
Group therapy also gives people a sense of structure and community, which is vital during the recovery process. Supportive and encouraging relationships may form and last beyond the session.
How to Tell if Group Therapy Is the Right Choice
Not everyone will benefit from group therapy, and it isn’t a necessary component of every treatment plan. Before adding someone to a group, their mental health practitioner should take into account their needs, preferences, stability, and stage of recovery.
Group therapy may not be right for those who do not want to participate, those who struggle to keep information confidential, those who are experiencing crisis-level symptoms, those who struggle with relationship building, and those who become very stressed by new people and situations.
People from marginalized groups may need special considerations when joining a group therapy session. For example, LGBT individuals need to be sure that other group members are safe to express themselves around.
Types of Group Therapy Sessions
Group therapy sessions come with five different models.
Psychoeducational therapy sessions are built around educational materials. The sessions may be structured similarly to a classroom.
Skill developing groups are also educational, but they have unique content based around the client needs. They may focus on communication, triggers, anger, parenting, finances, or other common life struggles.
CBT groups use cognitive-behavioral therapy to teach members how to identify and manage their irrational behaviors.
Support groups are built around understanding, empathy, and care for the members. They are meant to foster emotional connections rather than accomplish on-paper goals.
Interpersonal process groups are miniature communities in which everyone can explore their individual role within the group.
If you’re ready to take the first step, our counselors are available 24/7 at 833-762-3739.