Group Therapy in Addiction Recovery
12 Keys Rehab clients not only benefit from individual therapy, but also group therapy sessions moderated by trained counselors. Group therapy consists of a small group of clients experiencing similar addiction issues who meet to talk about all aspects of their addiction, from how they started using drugs and why they decided to seek help, to problems affecting relationships due to their addiction.
Feedback from other members is strongly encouraged by the counselor mediating the group therapy session. Although counselors are always present during drug rehab group therapy meetings, the discussion among clients flows naturally without interruption from the counselor, unless there’s an escalation of emotions requiring therapeutic mediation.
Group therapy at 12 Keys is a place where you can share your inner-most feelings without fear of judgement. Our counselors are prepared to help you embrace both individual and group therapy, allowing for a full emotional recovery.
How Effective Is Group Therapy?
As a compelling source of support, stabilization and peer-oriented persuasion, drug rehab group therapy emphasizes therapeutic goals capable of enriching members with guidance and clarifying insight. In the hands of experienced 12 Keys Rehab therapists, group therapy promotes curative powers inherent to groups led skillfully by therapists. These powers are then re-directed back to the group to foster peer reinforcement, support healthy relationships and facilitate self-expression.
The effectiveness of group therapy in rehab may also be attributed to certain factors associated with addiction, such as denial, depression, isolation, anxiety and personality deficiencies. These problems often respond more readily to group therapy treatment, simply because we are fundamentally social creatures who rely on each other to lead happy, productive and meaningful lives.
What Goes On in a Group Therapy Session?
Clients in group therapy at 12 Keys Rehab often tell us the greatest benefit of participating in group therapy is that they discovered they were not alone in dealing with the overwhelming flood of emotions resulting from admitting they were addicts. They realized how much they hurt loved ones and how important it is to remain sober while coping with addiction recovery.
Once members of a group become familiar with each other, a unique sense of trust is established that allows everyone to feel they can speak freely and openly without the fear of being stigmatized or looked down on. This feeling of safety and empathy helps our clients express their deepest thoughts with others who offer the support, compassion and experiential insight needed during recovery.
What If I Don’t Feel Comfortable Sharing My Feelings in Group Therapy?
12 Keys Rehab clients new to group counseling often have misconceptions about this type of therapy, usually due to what they may have seen in movies or television shows. You should know that, as a participant of group therapy sessions, you are completely in control regarding what you disclose to other members and how much you disclose to anyone in the group, including the therapist. In addition, no one in the group is allowed to verbally attack you for any reason. The therapist mediating the session always stops aggressive behavior immediately.
Are the Things I say in Group Therapy Kept Confidential?
Another misconception about group therapy involves other members of the group talking about you once the session is over. 12 Keys Rehab has a strict confidentiality policy concerning what is shared outside a group. Rest assured that anything disclosed during a session remains with the members of that group. If it’s discovered that someone is gossiping about what is discussed during group therapy, that person may be removed from the group or the Program.
However, this problem is rarely encountered, simply because members are acutely aware of how it feels to be stigmatized and do not want to be the cause of another member feeling ostracized or ridiculed.
What Role Does the Therapist Play in Drug Rehab Group Therapy?
In addition to ensuring the smooth, productive progress of all group therapy sessions, the therapist also:
- Intervenes when members start engaging in counterproductive behaviors that contribute nothing to the purpose of the group.
- Emphasizes similarities between certain group members and encourages these particular members to work together by sharing their feelings with each other.
- Consistently supports participation of all members by asking open-ended questions requiring answers that offer more insight and expansion.
- Helps members analyze, clarify and attribute significance and meaning to both good and bad experiences.
- Remains objective yet empathetic with all group members.
- Demonstrates professional and ethical standards assigned to the principles of group therapy practice.
Therapists mediating group therapy in drug rehab also impart psychoeducation information when relevant during any given session. Psychoeducational material provided by your group therapist may include:
- The fact that addiction is a disease and not something you choose. Addiction has a strong genetic component that may make you more vulnerable to addictive substances than others.
- No one is capable of changing the past. What’s done is done. Allowing others to hold you accountable for less-than-perfect past behavior is justifiably unacceptable and irrelevant to your current situation.
- Reminding everyone that everyone in the group has experienced the stress, pain and guilt of being substance abusers. They know what it’s like to struggle with recovery, finding employment, repairing relationships and rebuilding their self-esteem and self-identity.
Following each session, the therapist guiding the session will ask members to commit some time to thinking about what occurred during the session, and to consider providing further insight into their emotions or thoughts during the next group therapy meeting. Taking a proactive attitude toward group therapy is an excellent way for you to begin a session, and helps create an enduring sense of community and cohesion that all our clients find contributive to addiction recovery.
How Is Group Therapy Different From Other Types of Therapy?
One of the many benefits drug rehab group therapy offers that individual therapy does not offer is a sense of belonging to a community sharing the same problems, dreams and goals. Group therapy also gives clients the chance to socialize and engage in sober activities with others who are trying to cope with the complexities of addiction and recovery.
Sharing insights and personal stories with other 12 Keys Rehab group members is also a critical aspect of the therapeutic process, supporting the success of your individualized treatment program. You will find people in your group representing all stages of the recovery process, from just completing detox to getting ready for release. This diversity further clarifies the benefits of group therapy as a place where everyone feels safe, understood and accepted, regardless of where they are in the recovery process.
Participants of drug rehab group therapy at 12 Keys Rehab often discover remarkable qualities about themselves they did not know they possessed. The ability to take on the role as a mentor and leader, as well as adapting to a pattern of goal-oriented thinking, are two self-affirming qualities many of our clients are excited to explore as members of group therapy.
Learning to interact productively with others by promoting shared values, empowering others and remaining authentic and honest when dealing with personal obstacles are additional qualities 12 Keys Rehab clients often find emerging from their sobriety as contributing members of group therapy.
How Long Will I Be in Group Therapy?
Drug rehab group therapy doesn’t take any longer to complete than individual therapy. In fact, research suggests that, for many people, participating in group sessions may expedite the treatment and recovery process due to the mental health benefits of personally interacting with people who are capable of objective yet empathetic feedback and support. Clients who are willing to commit, participate and trust their particular group members and therapist will ultimately receive the full benefits of therapeutic group sessions.
How Is Group Therapy Used to Treat Addiction?
Expressing your thoughts and emotions to others who are experiencing the same problems is a cathartic process that provides you with a deep sense of relief, calm and closure. Being as honest and forthright as you can be without feeling uncomfortable or stigmatized strengthens self-awareness, self-esteem and, most importantly, self-efficacy, or the unshakeable belief that you can overcome anything life throws at you.
Asking for help and support from group members in dealing with past or current issues significantly enhances your ability to complete treatment and recovery. Clients who actively encourage new members or try to help less confident or trusting members interact with the group are rewarded with feelings of empowerment and purposefulness during their recovery process.
Other ways group therapy helps promote addiction recovery include:
- Provides positive, inspiring and sober peer support often resembling the dynamics of a real, caring family.
- Reduces the sense of isolation and abandonment suffered by addicts that often prevents them from successfully defeating an addiction.
- Enables clients to experience what it’s like to reach a certain stage of recovery by having deep conversations with other members.
- Encourages and supports members who must perform difficult, anxiety-provoking tasks.
- Adds much-needed discipline, consistency and structure to the lives of clients entering 12 Keys Rehab with a chaotic past and present.
- Instills meaning, hope and the uplifting belief that if somebody else can do it, “So can I.”
12 Keys Rehab clients participating in drug rehab group therapy often report the following because they actively engaged in group sessions:
- I feel less isolated and lonely.
- I’ve gained a sense of control and empowerment from being supported by my peers.
- My coping skills have improved due to listening to the insights of other group members.
- My anxiety and depression symptoms lessened considerably.
- I realized that I am not alone in my addiction, which makes me feel hopeful and positive about my future.
As a side note, many of our clients maintain friendships with group members following completion of their rehabilitation program. Having people you know you can trust and depend on for support during recovery is one of the best ways to help keep you from relapsing into old, negative thought patterns and drug addiction behaviors.
Contact 12 Keys Rehab and find out how our group therapy program can help you or your loved one overcome an addiction.