There are numerous different approaches to addiction treatment, although the majority includes a group counseling component. The idea of substance abuse treatment is to provide an environment that fosters sobriety so that patients can learn how they can maintain it for the long haul. Although individuals in rehab have a lot of work to do to rehabilitate and recovery from substance abuse, group therapy adds an engaging dimension to treatment that is very beneficial.

Inthe sober environment of a substance abuse treatment center, patients are able to offer each other mutual support that can help better motivate them to carry on in their abstinence. Completing an addiction treatment program represents an opportunity for individuals to start improving their lifestyle and also the support system they have around them.

By engaging therapy in a group setting that’s guided by a substance abuse counselor,patients are provided with support and feedback from people who completely understand their struggles. Group therapy also allows patients to develop coping skills so that they can face unexpected challenges buoyed by the support of their peers.

The Advantages of Healthy Support

One of the most important things for people entering rehab to accept is that they need to change their social circle. Cutting off contact with enabling individuals and avoiding places where substances are openly used is an essential step in immersing a person in their rehabilitation. Group therapy makes this process much easier by introducing patients to others who are empathetic to their situation who will continue to support them for years in recovery.

Support groups in substance abuse treatment centers are guided by a trained substance abuse counselor to allow patients to focus on their recovery goals and make positive changes. While they are receiving treatment from the therapeutic components of their substance abuse treatment program, patients are also able to engage in a more informal, social setting in group therapy. Substance abuse treatment centers often provide the first opportunity for people to communicate their experience of substance abuse without facing judgment from others.

The main benefits of a sober support network include the following:

  • Concerns can be expressed in an environment of understanding
  • Valuable coping mechanisms for relapse prevention are reinforced
  • New and healthy friendships can be formed
  • Negative emotions such as isolation or depression can be lessened
  • New perspectives on the individual’s unique situation can be gained

Group therapy essentially builds support that patients need to move forward and gives them the confidence to manage a life without drugs or alcohol. Substance abuse is a health condition that is marked by the potential for relapse, even years after treatment and having sober support from others goes a long way top reventing a return to using.

What’s Involved in Group Therapy?

Group therapy is actually a type of psychotherapy involving a substance abuse therapist who works with several people at the same time. The majority of substance abuse treatment centers offer some form of group therapy as a component of a substance abuse treatment program. Group therapy is also used alone, generally offered by organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Women for Sobriety.

When used in isolation, it is crucial that the individual is aligned with the principles of their support group in order for it to be effective. In other words, a person who has no particular spiritual beliefs is unlikely to benefit from the group setting of traditional 12-step which requires an absolute faith in a Higher Being.

The benefits of group therapy include the following:

  • Instills hope:Group therapy sessions often include individuals who are at different stages of rehab. Mixing with people who are coping with sobriety and active recovery is excellent motivation to continue with abstinence.
  • Inclusion: For people who have become distanced from loved ones as a result of substance abuse, group therapy makes sure they know they are not alone.
  • Provides a different viewpoint: When people are part of a group sharing similar experiences,they get a different perspective on their own issues.
  • Altruism: Substance use disorder or addiction manifests itself as a very selfish condition. Group therapy helps to restore patients’ faith in the camaraderie of others and boosts self-esteem.
  • Socialization: An important aspect of substance abuse treatment is about enabling individuals to be engaged in social situations while managing their sobriety. Group therapy provides an excellent setting to practice healthier behaviors with the full support of a substance abuse counselor and their peers.
  • Group cohesiveness: Participants of group therapy are united by a common goal of achieving and maintain sobriety. This instills a sense of acceptance and belonging for everyone involved.
Cite this article as:
Editorial Staff, "The Benefits of Group Counseling in Substance Abuse Rehab," in Medicalopedia, November 23, 2018, [Permalink: https://www.medicalopedia.org/7048/the-benefits-of-group-counseling-in-substance-abuse-rehab/].