Addiction is a complicated disease that does not take kindly to simple solutions.
Individuals who battle with addiction often face psychological, physical, emotional, and behavioral concerns. For treatment programs to be the most effective, they must address all of these issues and demonstrate how they relate to the addiction itself. Group therapy can play a significant role in helping patients understand the many factors that contribute to the development of an addiction.
Group therapy is a treatment method that includes the participation of a number of patients struggling with similar concerns. Group therapy sessions tend to be led by one counselor, however, if the group consists of a large number of participants, more than one counselor will be present.
Similar to individual therapy, group therapy is designed to help identify and address the behavioral and emotional issues that have contributed to the patient’s opioid addiction. Addiction hardly ever occurs out of thin air. In fact, it is often external issues such as pressure, trauma, stress, abuse, and self-esteem issues that trigger the abuse of substances. Group therapy offers up a venue for these issues to be discussed and processed while patients work on their recovery.
Group therapy is able to be effective because of the counselors who apply their skills and expertise, and the patients who share their insights and experiences. Below are the primary objectives behind effective group therapy:
- Catharsis – Relieving oneself from shame or emotional upset by speaking about one’s issues publically
- Cohesiveness – Feeling a significant sense of belonging, validation, and purpose by sharing in the therapeutic experience
- Imitative behavior – Establishing new, healthy skills just from watching the positive behaviors of the counselor and other group members
- Information – Obtaining more information about addiction as a disease and the process of recovery
- Hope – Seeing how others have overcome similar addiction related battles, and realizing that one can do the same
- Altruism – Knowing the value of adding to the betterment of other group members’ lives
- Interpersonal learning – Learning from the personal insights of others, all while being able to share one’s own experiences and testimonies
- Self-understanding – Getting insight into one’s own problems by listening to other group members talk about their achievements and hang-ups
- Universality – Alleviating strong feelings of isolation by recognizing the similarity of feelings and experiences amongst other group members
At Brattleboro Comprehensive Treatment Center, we appreciate group therapy and believe that it is a critical component to the comprehensive medication assisted treatment program that we supply. By allowing counselors and group members to join forces with one another in a safe and inviting environment, we are able to build a collaborative and productive environment where successes and setbacks can be placed into the proper light and talked through in ways that everyone can benefit. Group therapy offers a plethora of information, priceless therapeutic insights, and extended support that often increases a patient’s likelihood of achieving long-lasting recovery.
There is no one medication or treatment approach that can solve all of the issues a person with an opioid addiction faces. Within an effective medication assisted treatment program, a number of elements are blended into a complete comprehensive approach that is highly effective in helping individuals addicted to opioids put their addictions in the past once and for all. Group therapy is essential in helping these individuals begin to build a happy, drug-free life.
If you or someone you love can benefit from group therapy and the other aspects of care we provide, please reach out to us right now.