Individual psychotherapy (also known as talk therapy) can afford us the opportunity to dig deep within ourselves; the therapist-client relationship is so important because it fosters a person’s growth and development in areas of a person’s life they wish to thrive in. Recovery involves so many different aspects of healing and restoration – and individual therapy isn’t the only way those in addiction recovery can grow. Group psychotherapy sessions provide a unique, safe space for individuals to build upon the foundation they’ve developed in other areas of treatment; because it’s a format different from individual therapy sessions, clients can gain different benefits from attending.
Exploring Group Psychotherapy
Kendra Cherry, an author, educational consultant, and speaker focused on psychology, told Very Well Mind in 2018 that group psychotherapy is often integrated into an entire comprehensive treatment plan. Through this, individuals typically sit in a circle while introducing themselves and potentially sharing their experiences. The therapist who’s leading the session may create an agenda depending on the needs of everyone in the room; in some sessions, clients may be encouraged to freely talk about their thoughts while others may involve a specific plan.
There are several benefits that those in addiction recovery can gain from attending group psychotherapy sessions, such as:
- Instilling hope by seeing other people who are recovering
- Being part of a community of people who’ve gone through similar struggles
- Sharing information with one another and learning from peers
- Group members can share strengths and lift one another up through difficult times
- New behaviors for working with others can be developed and practiced actively
- Clients can develop a greater understanding of themselves by working with people in their group therapy sessions
- Shared feelings of pain, grief, anger and sadness can bring about a group sense of relief and strength
- Ultimately, many people uncover in group therapy a greater sense of responsibility when it comes to their own thoughts, lives, and actions
Treatment typically includes group psychotherapy but there are also group gathering such as thorugh 12-Step programs which also provide individuals in recovery with a setting to get to know others who are working to better themselves.
Gaining New Insights: Types of Group Therapy
A publication by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) highlights the fact that our lives are shaped by our experiences in groups. Human beings are social and have a need for connecting with others; group psychotherapy sessions, if done well, can greatly enhance a person’s experience in recovery and can even motivate them to take greater strides towards healing. There are 5 types of group therapy sessions that may take place in addiction recovery:
- Psychoeducational groups – group members will learn all about substance abuse, such as: what it is, how it develops, how it affects the mind and body, how it affects loved ones, what relapse is, stages of recovery and more
- Skills development groups – these types of groups focus on the skills necessary to break free from addiction, such as through relapse prevention. Topics discussed may involve cues, physiological warning signs of relapse, relaxation techniques, self-care tools and more
- Cognitive-behavioral groups – similar to individual CBT therapy but in a group setting, these groups focus on changing patterns of behavior that aren’t contributing to the life individuals truly want. In these groups, those in recovery will learn specific, adaptable tools to apply when thoughts seem to “take over” a person’s mood – and from there, they’ll be better informed to focus on thoughts that benefit them rather than harm them
- Support groups – there are various support groups that those in recovery can become involved in, which serve as a place for peers to lift one another up
- Interpersonal process group therapy – groups will work together to “recreate” their past and explore their life problems relationally
As you can see, these various types of group psychotherapy sessions truly serve to the various needs of the group – and through a number of discussions, activities and educational opportunities, those in recovery can become more confident in their healing journey.
There are many pieces that form a person’s recovery, and that’s why there should be several components that become part of one’s treatment plan. Holistic recovery aims to treat the mind, body and spirit by acknowledging the various factors that make up a person’s life; group psychotherapy can contribute so much knowledge, confidence and understanding for a person who may otherwise not feel secure in where they’re at. Peer relationships confirm that support needed, along with the help of therapists and one’s overall addiction recovery healthcare team.
If you’re ready to heal and restore from addiction, speak with a professional from Avalon Malibu today. Recovery is possible – and you’re not alone.
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 888-958-7511 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.