While therapy of any kind is helpful when you are in recovery, group therapy can be especially useful. This is because group therapy replicates group social situations, in a loving, safe space in which you can grow and reform the way you interact with others. Our group experiences shape us in so many diverse ways. Influences of all kinds such as family, religion, culture and social will play a role in how you behave, how you perceive yourself and your physical and mental health.

For this reason, group therapy for drug & alcohol addiction recovery can provide support to you during this hard time. The need to connect makes group therapy a natural and powerful tool to help on the road to recovery from addiction. There are a number of reasons to engage in group therapy for substance abuse addiction recovery, such as reducing isolation and finding community with others going through the steps of recovery alongside you.

Types of Group Therapy for Drug & Alcohol Addiction Recovery

Group dynamics play a huge role in our lives. Therefore, when searching for your ideal type of group therapy for drug & alcohol addiction recovery, it is important to find the type that will suit your needs best.

When we form emotional attachments, there is potential for influence, both good and bad. Group therapy can be a powerful tool for helping you find support from peers that are struggling with similar concerns, guided by trained facilitators. Group therapy for substance abuse addiction recovery requires both a trained leader and the goal of providing healing from addiction. Below we will go into the different types of group therapy and the purposes they serve.

  1. Psychoeducational groups: These types of groups primarily focus on educating people about substance use. This is often one of the early stages in recovery when substance users are simply learning about the dangers of drugs and alcohol addiction. These groups provide a safe space for education and help you work through the complicated emotions that come up with this learning.
  2. Skills developmental groups: Skills development groups focus on helping participants develop skills that will aid in the breaking of addiction cycles. This can be daily life skills or more complex job-related skills that will provide an additional purpose and meaning to give participants other things to focus on besides their addiction.
  3. Cognitive-behavioral groups: Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a specific technique that uses psycho-social techniques to reorient cognitive distortions and behaviors to improve overall well-being. It invites participants to question their usual way of thinking or doing and imagine new possibilities to break patterns. This can be an extremely powerful tool in helping those struggling with addiction to make small, incremental changes in their lives.
  4. Support groups: Support groups are a very common type of group therapy for drug & alcohol addiction recovery because they provide a space of support, commiseration, and a safe environment to debunk, constructively, excuses for continued behavior.
  5. Interpersonal process group: This type of group therapy focuses on processing relationships that members have and how they have used their addiction to cope with challenges in life through the use of addictive substances. This is a slightly less common form of group therapy because it requires a long-term commitment and a consistent group.

Often, group therapy for substance abuse addiction recovery will incorporate a few of the above types of group therapy into one group. The above techniques are not mutually exclusive and the methods used will depend heavily on the makeup of the group and the facilitator. It is important for anyone engaging in group therapy to find a group that they resonate with and that will help them as they move through recovery.

Stages of Addiction Recovery in Group Therapy

The way your group moves through the different stages of group therapy for substance abuse addiction recovery will vary depending on how the group is organized and what is required of you in that space. Some group therapy settings will require that you come into that space after you’ve stopped using, while others will work with you to get to that stage. In some group settings you will have people moving through different stages at their own pace, while in others, everyone will at least begin at the same place.

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Generally speaking, you will move through the following stages on your path to recovery:

  • Pre-contemplation: This is where everyone starts. For many this looks like refusing to admit that there is a problem, insisting that you have your substance use under control, etc. There is no desire or plan to give up using.
  • Contemplation: At this stage, you have admitted that there is a problem, and with the help of your therapist, you are thinking about decreasing usage or even giving up the use of the substance altogether.
  • Preparation: In the preparation stage, you are still using but are working towards quitting, by creating a plan to stop and taking steps toward this goal. This should come about because of the understanding of how using is negatively affecting your life.
  • Action: This is when you take active steps to stop using with the help of your therapist and group. This doesn’t mean giving up cold turkey, but you should change get to a place where you don’t need to use anymore.
  • Maintenance: Quitting your addiction is hard work and requires actively fighting against all the signals from your brain that tell you to go back to the substance you used to use. In this stage, is all about turning to your support network to stay sober and avoid a relapse.
  • Recurrence: Many people relapse before ultimately achieving full recovery. This is a completely normal part of the process and while it can be frustrating, it is not a failure. If you do experience a relapse, you will begin cycling back through the process as many times as necessary. Group therapy can be an excellent place to work through this complicated process.

Benefits of Group Therapy

Group therapy for drug & alcohol addiction recovery has so many benefits. It is, in fact, one of the best ways to work through substance abuse issues and achieve lifelong recovery effectively. This is why it is used so often in this process. Here are some of the key benefits that you can experience through group therapy.

  • Finding a supportive, loving environment surrounded by people who understand what you’re going through
  • Learning healthy coping mechanisms to deal with daily stressors
  • Having accountability to a group of people that will hold you to your promises without judgment
  • Developing strong relationships that can grow inside and outside of therapy
  • Therapeutic tools that will help you in your journey to recovery by giving you other methods outside of pure willpower to recover
  • Providing an open and honest environment to discuss frustrations and feelings
  • Motivation and support throughout your recovery process
  • Problem-solving ideas to help you handle whatever comes your way
  • The knowledge and expertise of a licensed practitioner, often for a lower cost than individual therapy
  • An environment that boosts confidence and self-esteem
  • It offers you an activity that helps you avoid destructive behaviors
  • Encouragement to find new, healthy behaviors

Finding a community that sees and understand what you are going through is incredibly important on the journey to recovery. This is why group therapy is so powerful. It not only can educate you about the ways in which your addiction is harming you and those around you, but it provides you a space to process and work through any and all issues that come up. Have many perspectives can offer you a path out that you may never have thought of on your own. If you’d like to learn more about Cardinal Recovery’s group therapy for substance abuse addiction recovery, we would be happy to talk with you about getting started.

Length of Treatment

While this will vary from person to person, the road to recovery is not a short or straight path. The length of treatment you require will depend greatly on the severity of your addiction and a number of other factors. If you have to spend any time in an in-patient treatment center, those can range from a few weeks to a few months or longer.

Once you are out of residential treatment, some heavy users choose to live in sober houses both for accountability and often as a cost-saving measure.

The length of group therapy sessions will also depend, but they usually span a couple of months at a minimum. For people with more minor addictions or those in recovery, the groups might only meet once a week. But for people that need more extensive therapy, you can engage in four to six sessions of daily treatment. Having daily meetings creates a greater degree of accountability and gives those on the path to recovery a place to go every day instead of using.

Group Therapy Settings

Group therapy for drug & alcohol addiction recovery generally can be conducted in several therapeutic settings such as:

Each of these settings serves a slightly different purpose, but someone struggling with addiction might move through all of them depending on the stage of their recovery.

Hospital-Based Inpatient Rehab

People with severe addiction might find themselves placed in a hospital-based inpatient rehab if they are admitted to the hospital because of their addiction. But these are also spaces that you can voluntarily check yourself in to get some immediate help. There is a lot of stigma around in-patient rehab facilities, but they can be an extremely powerful tool for starting people on the road to recovery or providing long-term support.

Residential Treatment

Residential treatment facilities also provide round-the-clock care to those struggling with a severe addiction for a specific period. They usually incorporate group therapy as well as other services and activities to help people get over initial withdrawal symptoms and begin moving into long-term recovery. The transition out of residential treatment facilities back into the real world can be challenging for many people, which is why it is usually recommended that people continue with group therapy for substance abuse addiction recovery after leaving the treatment center.

Outpatient Recovery Programs

Outpatient recovery programs can take many forms but usually involve some group and individual therapy. This can be a great place to start the path to recovery or continue on your journey after getting out of in-patient treatment services. Out-patient recovery programs are usually more long term, and many people will remain in group therapy after many years of sobriety.

There is no one right way to being your journey to recovery, and each of these different treatment options can be beneficial along that road. Cardinal Recovery offers a variety of different group therapy options for drug & alcohol addiction recovery and we would be happy to work with you to figure out what the best path is for you.

Finding Your Path to Group Therapy for Drug & Alcohol Addiction Recovery

Group therapy can be an incredibly powerful tool for those struggling with substance abuse. It is often more effective than individual therapy, because of the healing power that people find from the group dynamic. Group therapy can not only provide community while you’re going through a hard time, but it also holds you accountable to your goals in a loving and non-judgemental way.

Many who struggle with severe substance abuse problems can be alienated from friends and family because of their issues. Group therapy for drug & alcohol addiction recovery can help you feel less alone as you navigate this challenging time.

If you have any additional questions or want to learn more about group therapy options, Cardinal Recovery would be happy to talk with you about the different types of group therapy that we offer and help you create your own treatment plan to get you on the road to recovery from substance use.  Call Now – (855) 928-1987