Overcoming a substance use disorder requires a combination of treatments. The reason is that different counseling methods address various addiction-related issues. As one of these treatments, a group therapy program follows a set of principles with many benefits.

About Group Counseling

Medical staff speaking with a client about how a group therapy program worksAs a type of talk therapy, group counseling involves discussions or activities between one or more therapists and several patients. It’s widely available as addiction and mental health disorder treatment because of its effectiveness.

The sessions usually involve seven to 12 patients, but they can have more or fewer. The groups meet once or twice a week for one or two hours each time. They often maintain this schedule for a full year. At a rehab center, therapists hold closed meetings with only a set group of members.

A group therapy program can be useful as a standalone treatment. However, it works best in a comprehensive treatment plan with other therapies.

Group Therapy Principles and Benefits

Group counseling is an effective drug addiction treatment because of the principles it follows. One is that it instills hope in the group members at the beginning of treatment. This hope comes from seeing others in the group who have learned to cope with their addiction and recovery. The group atmosphere also shows them that they aren’t alone and others have similar experiences.

Because of the group setting, this counseling method allows the members to share helpful information. They can also share their strengths, which boosts their confidence. Sharing their experiences and feelings is also therapeutic because it helps the members relieve guilt, stress and emotional pain.

Group therapy creates a family that helps members explore experiences that led to their behaviors. Another advantage is that they come to realize that they’re responsible for their own actions and choices. They can even learn how to avoid destructive behaviors in a real-life environment.

In addition, group therapy program members provide feedback to each other that helps them grow and make positive changes. They even gain a sense of acceptance and belonging because they work together toward a common goal. The members can quickly develop new coping skills by watching how others handle similar situations too.

Furthermore, group counseling helps each member develop improved social skills. Since the members interact a lot during a group therapy program, they learn to communicate more effectively among themselves. Then, they can use what they learned in all of their relationships outside of treatment.

A Typical Session

Most people don’t feel comfortable talking about their issues in front of others when they first start addiction treatment. For that reason, a rehab center will likely begin treatment with individual therapy to get them acquainted with talking.

When they’re ready, the patients add group therapy to their treatment schedule. For a typical session, one or more therapists hold the meetings in a room. Sometimes, though, they might meet outdoors in an even more relaxed environment.

The members take a seat in a circle of chairs so that they can see each other. Every session in a group therapy program may begin with the members introducing themselves. They could also share their reason for being there and their progress since the previous session.

Beyond that, the exact format of the sessions will depend on therapists’ styles and the groups’ goals. While some therapists encourage free-form dialogue, others create a plan for each meeting. Such a group therapy plan might include having the members practice new skills with each other.

Group Counseling at Authentic Recovery Center

Do you have a substance abuse problem? You can get the help you need to grow and improve your life. Authentic Recovery Center is a full-service addiction treatment center that uses a 12-step program approach to substance recovery. Alongside group counseling, our range of services and programs includes:

To make sure that you can maintain sobriety, Authentic Recovery Center addresses co-occurring mental disorders too. We understand that substance abuse can lead to the development of other mental illnesses. We also know that not addressing an underlying problem can trigger a relapse. Our dual diagnosis treatment can help you address these issues and prepare for ongoing recovery.

Don’t let drugs or alcohol sentence you to a life of misery. Get help through an extensive treatment plan that includes a group therapy program. Reach out to Authentic Recovery Center to learn more at 866-256-0051.