Addiction is a multifaceted disease that does not respond to easy solutions.
Those addicted to substances are challenged with physical, behavioral, psychological, and emotional struggles. In order to be successful, treatment programs must help these individuals address the issues that caused the addiction and/or were impacted by the addiction. Group therapy is an excellent resource in helping patients understand the factors that likely contributed to the development and continuation of an opioid addiction.
Group therapy is a treatment method that requires participants to engage with one another in a therapeutic setting. Group therapy sessions that only have a handful of participants are often conducted by one counselor, while sessions that have more participants will be lead by more than one counselor.
Like individual therapy, group therapy is designed to help individuals identify and process the behavioral and emotional influences that have added to their substance abuse problems. Very rarely does addiction just appear out of thin air. In most cases, it is outside forces such as trauma, stress, abuse, self-esteem issues, pressure, and more that serve as contributing factors to the presence of a substance abuse problem. Group therapy offers a space for individuals to discuss and work through these issues and other matters related to their recovery.
Group therapy is as effective as it is because of the talent of the counselor or counselors and the active participation of the patients who share their insights, experiences, and thoughts. Below are some of the primary principles and objectives of group therapy:
- Universality – Aiding in the alleviation of feelings of isolation by shining a light on commonly shared experiences and feelings amongst one another
- Self-understanding – Obtaining a healthy vantage point into one’s own challenges by listening to other peers speak about their successes and obstacles
- Interpersonal learning – Learning from the experiences and thoughts of others all while feeling comfortable sharing one’s own testimony
- Altruism – Seeing the value in adding to the betterment of other people’s lives
- Hope – Knowing that others have worked through difficulties that one might be currently going through
- Information – Obtaining a stronger education on addiction as a disease and the recovery process
- Imitative behavior – Establishing new skills and strategies from watching the counselor’s and the participants’ positive behaviors
- Cohesiveness – Feeling a sense of purpose, belonging, and validation by sharing in the group therapy experience with others
- Catharsis – Sharing feelings such as shame by speaking about one’s struggles publically
At Temecula Valley Comprehensive Treatment Center, we recognize how valuable group therapy can be when incorporated into a complete medication assisted treatment program. When counselors and patients join forces in an environment that is safe and inviting, all challenges and achievements can be processed in an appropriate manner. Group therapy offers critical information, important therapeutic insights, and exceptional support that can dramatically improve a patient’s ability to sustain recovery for the long-term.
There is no one medication, therapy session, or technique that can free an individual from his or her addiction. Instead, recovery requires a number of elements to be combined with one another so that success can be yielded and patients can stop using and start living a healthy lifestyle. Group therapy can be a critical element to this achievement.
If you or someone you love needs help and can benefit from group therapy, please contact Temecula Valley Comprehensive Treatment Center today.