Addiction extends beyond the physical act of consuming a substance. Those struggling with addiction must face the behavioral, emotional, physical, and psychological components in order to break free from its chains. For treatment to be fully effective, programs must also address each of these facets in order for patients to have the highest rate of success possible. Group therapy is an effective tool used to accomplish this.
Group therapy is a therapeutic practice that involves the use of multiple patients coming together in a singular counseling session. Group therapy sessions typically utilize one therapist, however, some sessions may include multiple therapists to team up with multiple patients.
The goal of group therapy is to recognize and tackle both the behavioral and emotional aspects that may have aided in the use and abuse of substances. Since addiction is often times caused by stress, mood disorders, traumatic pasts, and self-esteem issues, it is important to understand what caused the problem so that appropriate solutions can be put into effect. Group therapy provides patients the space to safely and openly discuss these topics.
Group therapy pulls its success from both the therapist who is leading the session, as well as the patients who are contributing their personal perceptions, experiences, and opinions. The following are the fundamental goals and philosophies of group therapy:
- Universality – Lowering feelings of loneliness amongst group members by highlighting the common emotions and experiences between individuals
- Self-understanding – Acquiring awareness into one’s own matters by listening to other group members communicate their successes and delays in recovery
- Interpersonal learning – Learning from the opinions and experiences of other group members, while being able to communicate one’s own perceptions and interpretations
- Altruism – Feeling the importance of contributing to the advancement of other group members’ lives
- Hope – Realizing that others have overcome issues that one may presently be dealing with
- Information – Gaining more information about the disease of addiction, as well as the recovery process
- Imitative behavior – Acquiring new skills and strategies by witnessing the positive behaviors of both the therapist and other members of the group
- Cohesiveness – Feeling a sense of fitting in, having a purpose, and validation by sharing the therapeutic practice with other individuals
- Catharsis – Experiencing a sense of relief from embarrassment or other pain by openly communicating one’s personal struggles
At San Diego Comprehensive Treatment Centers, we understand the importance of including group therapy into our comprehensive medication assisted treatment program. By providing patients with a safe environment in which to openly discuss their addiction amongst other individuals who truly understand the struggles associated with recovery, patients are able to gain a strong sense of community, support, and encouragement. Our therapist-led sessions allow patients the opportunity to gain insight and information regarding their addiction to help aid in long-term recovery.
Since there is not a singular cure for addiction, utilizing a comprehensive treatment approach allows patients the highest opportunity for a successful long-term recovery. Group therapy plays an essential part in the medication assisted treatment programs offered through San Diego Comprehensive Treatment Centers.
If you or someone you love would benefit from group therapy and the other therapeutic elements available at San Diego Comprehensive Treatment Centers, please contact us today.