Group Therapy for Substance Abuse in Kokomo, Indiana
One of the most beneficial types of psychotherapy is the approach that best meets the needs of the specific patient. Likewise, one of the best resources for effectively dealing with personal concerns or specific obstacles is when people connect with like-minded individuals. This is one of the most paramount ways to relate to others and share similar experiences.
Group therapy acts as a psychotherapeutic approach that utilizes the overall personal interaction with people who can help each other grow and cope through similar experiences. There are various versions of group therapy, including drug rehabilitation and grief counseling. Group therapy for substance abuse will be thoroughly discussed, along with its benefits and how it works with other forms of treatment.
What Is Group Therapy?
The definition of group therapy is a form of psychotherapy in which a group of individuals will meet to discuss common ground. The group therapy counseling sessions will generally take place under the supervision of a psychologist or mental health counselor. Typically, a group therapy session will be constructed by a therapy leader.
During this step, the therapy leader will give the group a set of guidelines and rules geared to assist each individual to connect and grow healthily. There are numerous sizes of therapy groups. It’s also important to remember that the amount of participants isn’t a significant factor when assembling a group therapy session.
One of the most important goals of group therapy is that the individuals who have joined will each undergo beneficial experiences. Sharing personal experiences with the group and learning from each other, will act as a catalyst for a successful group therapy session. Group therapy operates best when individuals assist one another in getting out of their comfort zones.
Group therapy is the treatment of several patients by therapists in one setting. It is utilized to treat various mental health conditions such as:
- Attention deficit hypersensitivity disorder (ADHD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Emotional trauma
How Does Group Therapy Work?
Group therapy for substance abuse works by allowing the patients to receive the encouragement and support of the other members of the group. People can see that others are experiencing similar situations, and they feel less alone. As the group therapy sessions go on, group members can serve as role models for each other.
When the individual can observe an individual successfully coping with a problem, other members might begin to feel there is hope for recovery. As each person progresses in their recovery, they can serve as role models and support figures for each person. Ultimately, this helps foster feelings of accomplishment and success.
Group therapy for substance abuse is affordable. Instead of focusing on one patient at a time, the therapist can commit their time to a larger group of individuals. In turn, this reduces the cost for the patients. Furthermore, group therapy acts as a haven.
Overall, the setting allows individuals to practice actions and behaviors within the security and safety of the group. When a group is present, the therapist can see how each person responds and behaves in social situations. As the therapist observes each patient’s behavior and response, they can use that information to provide valuable feedback.
Group Therapy Objectives
- Describe the elements of group therapy that can increase the chances of patients benefiting from the treatment process
- Explain the importance of multi-professional collaborative efforts when providing treatment in a group setting
- Review the management and presence of issues of a patient’s confidentiality during group therapy sessions
- Summarize the management of internal issues that can disrupt the group therapy sessions
As the need for long-term psychiatric care and behavioral intervention is continuously rising, alternative treatment methods must be employed. To meet the increasing demand, healthcare teams and physicians provide the solution through group therapy for substance abuse. The way that group therapy provides solutions to problems, is by allowing treatment for several individuals simultaneously.
Benefits of Group Therapy
Feeling heard: When an individual faces addiction, it can feel like an intense singular experience. As this process unfolds, it’s more challenging for the individual to manage. Since individuals have gone through similar experiences, it’s a more streamlined process of learning and understanding that occurs in the therapy session.
Built-in support network: A support network is crucial for an individual’s recovery and mental health needs. It is challenging to build a support network, but group therapy makes it more attainable. As the group therapy members meet up each week, they become invested in one another. Group counseling allows participants to act in supportive ways and build strong, cultivating bonds.
Different perspectives: Participants can benefit from hearing various perspectives in their sessions. It can enable them to welcome different ways of thinking about and tackling their problems. Learning from each other is a valuable experience facilitated by group therapy.
Even though group therapy for substance abuse might seem intimidating at first, it provides numerous benefits that individual therapy can’t offer. Group members are typically surprised by how rewarding group therapy is. It acts as a support network for every individual that is involved.
Group members can speak up to assist other members with particular ideas meant to improve a demanding lifestyle situation. Furthermore, individuals in group therapy can hold each other accountable until their goals are reached. When a person is constantly talking and listening to others in their group, it’ll help put problems in perspective.
Group Therapy Benefits
- Granting members the opportunity to observe issues encountered by others in recovery and observe problem-solving methods.
- Teaching patients coping skills to manage daily stressors without feeling the need to resort back to substance abuse.
- Developing relationships between group members that are utilized outside of sessions for encouragement and support.
- Utilizing therapeutic tools such as confronting poor decision-making and challenging irrational beliefs to modify behaviors.
- Empower group members through encouragement to offer feedback and assistance to their other members.
- Effectively treating numerous individuals simultaneously with one therapist, allowing those patients faster access to therapy.
- Build a sense of self-worth, optimism, and belief in the group members.
- Provide motivation and support from peers to maintain recovery goals.
- Boost routine and structure in the lives of group members.
- Offer members education about the entire recovery process.
Many individuals undergo mental health difficulties, but many individuals won’t speak openly to people they don’t know well personally. Oftentimes, it’s normal to feel like you’re the only person struggling, but it’s not true. Group therapy can provide consequential relief hearing what others are going through and realizing that you can relate.
Another great benefit of group therapy for substance abuse is diversity. Every individual has a different background and personality and looks at situations from various perspectives. By being a witness to how other individuals tackle issues and create positive change, a chain reaction will occur. You’ll find yourself discovering a whole range of strategies and methods that you’re more equipped to conquer.
How Does Group Therapy Differ From Other Types of Therapy?
For starters, group therapy differs from individual therapy, because in individual therapy, there is one counselor and one client. In group counseling, there are numerous patients, and sometimes several therapists. Roughly defined, group therapy typically has at least five participants, and it can be as high as 15 total.
Sometimes, when there are more patients, there will be two or more counselors employed for that specific session. Similarly, couple counseling is a form of group therapy as well. The most obvious differences will reveal themselves through the following:
- The context of the conversations
- How bonds and alliances are formed between counselors and clients
- How the sessions unfold
For example, a one-on-one individual therapy session can lead to more personal feelings and sensitive topics being addressed. However, this doesn’t mean that group therapy for substance abuse doesn’t discuss intimate topics. When it comes to a substance abuse group, addiction struggles will be discussed in various personal ways. Overall, this affects the following:
- The session
- How it progresses
- What insights will be reached
Also, group therapy for substance abuse is more likely to have specific purposes. While an individual group therapy session is widespread, group therapy is often focused on one specific topic.
Does Group Therapy Work in Conjunction With Other Therapies and Treatments?
Group therapy for substance abuse does work in conjunction with other therapies and treatments. The 2019 National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services reported that 93% of substance use disorder (SUD) treatment facilities, across various settings, provide group counseling. Overall, the popularity of this therapy has been formed by the influence of mutual-support groups, the potential for cost containment, and the efficiency in delivering psychoeducation while teaching coping skills to various individuals simultaneously.
Even though nontreatment groups aren’t addressed, specifically through mutual-support groups and peer support groups, it can still help. These groups can also support recovery and add a memorable amount of value to the treatment process. This occurs through the following:
- Minimizing the stigma that is often associated with SUDs
- Reinforcing coping strategies
- Modeling recovery behavior
- Providing hope
Group therapy for substance abuse, which is widely used in SUD treatment, consists of individual conceptual approaches. These approaches are adapted to the development of specialized manual-based treatment groups. Several core processes predict outcomes in numerous SUD group therapy settings, including the following:
- Culturally responsive settings
- Therapeutic alliance
- Group affiliation
Across the continuum of care, group therapy can be an efficient and effective method for developing and practicing coping skills, improving treatment engagement, and supporting recovery. Group therapy is one of the most common treatment approaches in SUD settings. There is an extensive need for formal training and clinical supervision in specific dynamics and group processes. As well as evidence-based SUD group therapies.
When group therapy is added as a component to an individual treatment approach, it improves the following:
- Perceived peer support
- Treatment engagement
- Abstinence rates
Is Group Therapy Right for Me?
If an individual is interested in group therapy for substance abuse, they will need to be matched up with a group that fits their individual needs. Before placing a recovering patient in a group, a provider will consider the following:
- Treatment preferences
- Emotional stability
- Stage in recovery
- Unique needs
Some individuals might not be a great fit for group therapy based on their current status. Group therapy might not be suited for individuals who:
- Experience major stress around individuals and new situations.
- Cannot maintain confidentiality and are more at risk of breaking group rules.
- Are currently in crisis with demanding and severe symptoms.
- Refuse group therapy as a feasible treatment option.
- Struggle to build appropriate relationships.
What Is the Goal of Group Therapy?
The goal of group therapy slightly varies from individual therapy. Group therapy is more likely to be more favorable for individuals who are working through issues that can affect many people. This type of therapy is recommended as a part of a crucial therapeutic strategy. Overall, this strategy assists in encouraging sharing, coping, and bonding.
The two primary goals of group therapy for substance abuse are:
- Process goals
- Outcome goals
Process goals relate to the process of understanding the concerns of others and making a connection to others during therapy. Outcome goals are defined as behavioral changes in the individual achieved by participation in group therapy sessions. Overall, this is referred to as the healing process.
Group Therapy for Substance Abuse at First City Recovery Today
Ultimately, the main goal of group therapy is to bring about a sense of relatability and belonging through understanding every person’s similar issues. Therefore, sharing everyday encounters. It is highly effective when there are specific concerns addressed.
Remember that the group’s ability to relate and embrace one another is pivotal to each member’s success. You are not alone on your road to recovery. Contact us today to start.
Dr. Vahid Osman, MD is a psychiatry specialist in Indianapolis, IN.
Dr. Osman completed a residency at Austin State Hospital. He has over 32 years of experience in Psychiatry & Behavioral Health. He is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.