What is Group Therapy Like in Addiction Treatment Centers?

In drug addiction recovery, intensive outpatient treatment may be necessary as an integral part of the healing process. Typically, a therapist or counselor will facilitate a small group setting of around 8 – 12 individuals seeking treatment and can offer many key benefits.

What to Expect from Group Therapy

While participating in addiction treatment centers for drug addiction, it’s likely you’ll have both individual and group therapy sessions. Generally, you’ll be involved in more group sessions than individual ones; they’ve been discovered to be highly effective.

Support groups in addiction treatment centers are designed to help individuals deal with drug addictions through the process of sharing challenges and successes with others who are coping with similar issues. However, in group therapy sessions, an expert therapist leads a group of about 5 – 10 people in ongoing sessions that typically last about 60 to 90 minutes.

Just like support groups, group therapy is a basically a joint effort of similar people who are dealing with the same addictions and problems, but, it’s the responsibility of the trained therapist to monitor the progress of each person in the group and to encourage their healing. Some studies have proven that group therapy is every bit as effective if not more helpful than individual therapy in assisting individuals to enhance their interpersonal relationships and to improve the quality of their overall lives.

Why Group Therapy Works

The science behind group therapy is that people are raised in group settings, otherwise known as families, and they go to work or school in small groups as well. Therefore, the majority of people normally bring their problems to other people anyway, but, under the guidance of a professional therapist, the individuals participating in a therapy group often learn a new approach for relating to and working with others inside smaller groups of people.

Quite often, group therapy in addiction treatment centers is a key way to learn what it’s like to grow up in a healthy family household. The therapist serves as a parent figure, and thus the small group relates to one another just like a typical family. By doing so, the members of the group can unlearn the destructive ways of relating with others that were likely common in their own original family, and can therefore adopt new, meaningful, healthy ways of coping with their peers and authority figures.

Creating Trust

Addiction treatment centers use group sessions, with the help of the trained therapist to generate an atmosphere of confidence and trust among the members so that they can speak openly and freely concerning their thoughts and feelings, because no one is forced to disclose their private thoughts, feelings, and life experience secrets. The therapist will model good behavior and etiquette to show others the proper way to address others with respect and how to talk to them with a sense of care and empathy as well.

After so many group therapy sessions, members in addiction treatment centers will begin to realize the best way to go about interacting with others. They finally learn to trust and that it’s okay to openly relate to others and be 100 percent honest. They discover they’re not alone and trust the advice of people who have once walked in their shoes to guide them in the right direction with a similar problem they are facing.

Together along with other members, individuals can literally share and talk about anything once the trust factor has been established. Even though everyone in the group is dealing with their own addictions, various members of the group have different strengths, behaviors and attitudes to bring to the group. By closely observing one another, group members start to develop emotionally and start to figure out how to solve difficult problems for themselves.

No matter where you are on the scale of addiction, chances are you can greatly benefit from group therapy sessions in addiction treatment centers. Consider joining one of the many addiction treatment centers available to establish new friendships that will last a lifetime built on trust and respect.

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