Group Therapy

Group therapy is a largely beneficial treatment for addicted individuals going through recovery. There are many different types of group therapy that can all be used to treat addiction and support recovery. And, according to SAMHSA, “Group therapy can provide a wide range of therapeutic services, comparable in efficacy to those delivered in individual therapy.”

What is Group Therapy?

Group therapy is a behavioral treatment used to help individuals stop displaying addictive behavior and start learning new coping skills. SAMHSA states that “all groups can be therapeutic,” but specific types of groups run by a licensed therapist, counselor, or psychiatrist are often used to treat addiction in professional and non-professional settings. Others may not be led by clinicians but are types of group therapy all the same.

These groups often consist of a small number of individuals who all share a common problem (in this case, addiction) and work together to find better solutions for all involved to end dangerous and harmful behavior caused by addictive, compulsive behaviors.

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What Types of Group Therapy are There?

There are actually several different types of group therapy, some of which are based on professional treatment and some of which are not. These types include:

These different methods can be used to treat different types of addictions. For example, the psychoeducational method is particularly effective for substance abuse and addiction because the program focuses on how the choice to abuse dangerous substance’s changes one’s life as well as the way one’s mind works. However, cognitive-behavioral therapy can be quite beneficial for substance abusers as well as those who suffer from sex addiction, compulsive buying disorder, or other types of behavioral addictions.

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How Does Group Therapy Work?

According to the NIDA, “Many therapeutic setting use group therapy to capitalize on the social reinforcement offered by peer discussion and to help promote drug-free lifestyles.” These programs work based on several different methods, the details of which are listed above. But many types of group therapy work in much the same way to help individuals recover from addiction.

In group therapy patients can discuss feelings with others facing similar issues.

Some programs, like cognitive-behavioral therapy, often will require that patients attend a certain number of times while support groups will not. Some may cost money while others do not. It is important to know what type of group program you are choosing and what the specifics include.

Where Can I Find Group Therapy?

Professional or clinical group therapy programs are often found in rehab facilities. Many of these can be found in our directory where you can locate the center that best fits your needs. In the case of professional treatment, group therapy will often be part of a larger program, and there will usually be a fee for the treatment program itself. Insurance can help to pay for addiction treatment, and in some cases, free or reduced-cost treatment is an option.

Support groups can often be found in facilities like churches, schools, and community centers where members can attend as many meetings as they like. These programs are normally free and less strict than those provided by professional treatment facilities. In some cases, however, treatment centers use both traditional types of group therapy and support groups to help their patients build stronger recoveries.

Is Group Therapy Successful in Treating Addiction?

Group therapy is very beneficial to those attempting to recover from substance and behavioral addictions. According to the NIDA, “Research has shown that when group therapy either is offered in conjunction with individualized drug counseling or is formatted to reflect the principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy or contingency management, positive outcomes are achieved.” Those individuals who attend professional rehabilitation programs that incorporate some form of group therapy have been found to experience

Those who attend support groups have shown signs of similar types of progress, illustrating that, in many ways, support groups can be as beneficial as those found in clinicial treatment programs. According to the NIAAA, “Alcoholics Anonymous participants in a 16-year study did as well in achieving abstinence at the 8-year mark as those in formal treatment (approaching 50 percent), and a group that participated in both AA and formal treatment performed better than formal treatment alone at years 1 and 3.” Because of this, support groups “remain a staple treatment tool and provide a good alternative to physicians to consider when counseling patients.”

However, there is no guarantee that any one treatment type will be effective for all individuals. Some people may benefit more from individualized drug counseling or from another type of behavioral treatment. Especially in the beginning of recovery, it can be hard for certain individuals to share their feelings.

Group therapy has been proven to be effective for many patients and necessary to most addiction treatment programs in some form or another. For this reason, there are many different methods of group therapy as well as other methods of addiction treatment. But overall, group therapy has been known to be extremely successful in helping addicted individuals stop harmful, compulsive behavior and build strong, positive recoveries.

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