Group Therapy in Drug Rehab
Group therapy leverages successful psychological techniques to help patients recognize their situation and learn appropriate methods for coping in place of abusing substances. In drug rehab, group therapy gathers together diverse people dealing with addiction albeit with varying substances. Group sessions promote openness in sharing personal stories and even suggestions from fellow group members, although a professional mental health specialist is always in charge of each session. Group therapy in drug rehab has been clinically proven to be equally as effective as one-on-one counseling, with the added bonus of being less expensive.
Group therapy provides several patient benefits. First of all, it creates a support community to combat the sense of isolation commonly experienced by drug users. It also allows those in recovery to benefit from the experiences of those farther down the road and can be instrumental in finding inspiration and hope for ultimate healing. Hope is a powerful weapon against the hovering threat of relapse.
Although there are similarities, drug rehab group therapy is not the same thing as a 12-Step program. For instance, while 12-Step groups are open-ended in size and participation (meaning members choose whether or not to participate) the group therapy meeting is limited to no more than 12 members and full group participation is a must. Full participation ensures that every person seeking recovery develops necessary social skills and learns how to communicate thoughts and feelings in a healthy way. Group dynamics also tend to keep the meetings honest and expose unhealthy thought processes.
The therapist in charge of the group may utilize a support model or he/she may employ cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a technique which emphasizes the idea that our actions flow directly from the ways in which we think. Even self-perceptions which derive from addiction and the poor choices which often accompany it are brought to light, examined and turned inside out so that the person focuses on their own potential to change and make better choices rather than becoming paralyzed by defeatist thinking based on the past. Training in awareness of thought patterns then, effectually changes behavior patterns. In addition to sharing basic truths pertaining to addiction itself, the group will also likely explore effective strategies for avoiding potential triggers and relapse. The group further becomes a place where members find ongoing encouragement and significance as they serve to role model success.
Drug rehab programs which can offer a combination of individual and group counseling have been proven to be the most effective, but when that is not possible, group therapy maximizes the impact of time spent with the counselor. The group provides a supportive place to begin re-engaging with others as a sober person. The trained therapist is on hand to keep conversations helpful and positive and to give advice when appropriate. When it comes to recovery there is power in numbers.