What goes on at group therapy for addiction treatment? Is it true that there are bunches of people sitting in a room talking about doing drugs? Misconceptions abound when discussing this aspect of substance abuse care. Here’s how therapists use this modality at Gateway Foundation Aurora.
What Group Therapy Is Not
Group therapy isn’t the time when you tell people how your life went wrong. It’s not an opportunity to tell someone else how to deal with a situation. A group therapy program isn’t a time for having others judge your life or decisions. Most importantly, it’s not a setting where you have to say or do things you’re uncomfortable with.
Benefits of Group Therapy in Substance Abuse Counseling
Therapists keep groups small. At Gateway Aurora, they ensure that the makeup of the group members works well. You complement one another. You’re each in similar circumstances.
What brings everyone together is the desire to overcome an addiction. Therefore, you commit to working on the different aspects of your lives that require change. However, this change doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Others notice your efforts.
The group is a lot like a family. There’s the possibility of dysfunction within the group. Similarly, there are excellent examples that show you how to interact respectfully and productively. The therapist oversees the interactions and ensures productivity.
A group therapy program opens the door to positive changes. You notice behaviors of others that you like, and you try to emulate them. Maybe you see things that you don’t like. If that’s the case, you try to avoid acting that way yourself. Furthermore, you have the opportunity to try out the coping skills that you’re working on.
How This Care Model Compares to Individual Therapy
Although highly effective, group therapy can’t be the only treatment for substance abuse. At Gateway Aurora, therapists incorporate groups with other types of care. Examples include:
- Medication-Assisted Treatment that provides assistance with cravings control
- Motivational Interviewing as a way to encourage you to make positive changes in your life
- 12-Step Facilitaton that promotes relapse prevention through accountability
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to identify dysfunction in patterns that you want to change
- Dual Diagnosis Treatment for program participants with co-occurring mental disorders
Many of these interventions take place in one-on-one therapy sessions. This type of individual therapy is instrumental in healing. It helps you to work with a counselor on goal-setting. Besides that, you also determine the social skills and coping mechanisms that you need to develop.
For many program participants, drug abuse is an outcropping of unmanaged stress. You’ll continue to see this stress come up in your life. Rather than fall back to substance abuse, you’ll have different tools for managing them. Developing these tools is something that you practice in individual therapy.
You also practice using the tools in the group setting. There, you interact with others, spend time building relationships, and learn the give and take of social relationships. It’s fair to say that our group therapy program encourages you to practice sober living in a safe environment. Then once you leave rehab you’re familiar with groups and can move right into our local addiction Recovery Community.
Join a Group to Heal
There are different types of groups. Not every group has the same goal or function. Case in point is the educational group. It benefits program participants who want to learn about particular aspects of addiction.
A good example is a group that focuses on developing anger management techniques. If this is a problem that you’re dealing with, the group setting allows for input. It also gives the therapist the opportunity to teach these techniques to you. Role-playing with peers then offers you the chance to practice.
Another type of group focuses on skill development. This setting may work on lowering your anxiety when being with other people. Discussion topics become of secondary importance as you learn to increase your comfort level around people. You may never become a people-person. However, you learn to function well without needing chemical assistance.
Find out more about the importance of group therapy and how it can help you change your life. At Gateway Aurora, therapists gladly discuss a suitable group therapy program with you. Connect with addiction treatment specialists who’ll help you take the first steps on the road to recovery. Reach Gateway Foundation Aurora by calling 630.966.7400 now.