Group therapy is an effective yet controversial part of the treatment process. Often ridiculed for being ineffective, many debate whether going to ‘rehab’ for a drug addiction or mental illness needs to include so much group therapy. Everyone recovers differently, which is why many treatment plans today are highly individualized to meet the specific needs of each client. Group therapy is a way to engage with other clients, support one another on a social level, and benefit from participating in different therapy types. Traditional methods of individual therapy are effective as well, which is why they are included multiple times a week in a treatment plan. Most individual therapists in treatment centers utilize cognitive behavioral therapy which is one of the most widely used and evidence based treatment types for mental health rehabilitation. However, there are issues with regarding cognitive behavioral therapy as the gold standard of addiction and mental health treatment. Cognitive functions and the cognition are a part of the brain can become severely damaged through substance abuse and the untreated side effects of mental illnesses. When the cognition is impaired, called cognitive deficits, grasping the process and many broad messages of cognitive behavioral therapy can be difficult. Too many clients in the early part of their recovery process find themselves in this state and as a result struggle to feel as though they are “getting it”. Consequently, the cognitive behavioral therapy is not as effective.
Medical Daily reports on a new study which found that mindfulness based group therapy was found to be as effective if not potentially more so than traditional individual therapy using the CBT method. Patients studied for the research were struggling with either anxiety disorders, depression, or other stress-related disorders. Addiction and alcoholism are frequently co-occurring with any of these disorders. “The researchers evaluated how the patient’s’ symptoms changed over the course of the study, either with mindfulness group therapy or CBT. The results revealed both groups’ scores on the various questionnaires decreased significantly.” Conclusively, the researchers emphasize mindfulness as a “viable treatment” for mental health.
Mindfulness based therapy treatments are essential for providing the holistic treatment needed to fully recover from addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. Avalon By The Sea offers residential care for primary substance use and primary mental health disorders. For information on our residential treatment programs, call 1 888-958-7511.