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Through group therapy, recovering individuals learn that they are not alone and that someone else may have already worked through a problem that is confronting them now.

Group Therapy in Addiction Treatment

Group therapy is one of the most widely practiced treatment methods in inpatient addiction treatment programs. Group therapy for addiction engages its participants by directing them through experiences, training them in acquiring a new set of techniques, or skills needed to solve problems related to their addiction.

In group therapy addiction sessions, one or more therapists work with a small group of individuals to facilitate discussions as members share their experiences of how they are dealing with their addiction. Through interactive conversations, individuals can relate to each other’s addiction problems, gain new skills that will benefit each member’s recovery, and gain motivation from how others have overcome their addiction. Participating in group therapy sessions for addiction allows individuals to be motivated and inspired by each other, offering new solutions that can apply in their own recovery.

Interpersonal interactions provided in group therapy aim to promote positive changes in an individual’s maladaptive behavior. When used for addiction, group therapy engages participants on focused discussion and activities (artwork, exercise, etc.) that help individuals develop social skills and foster a sense of commonality.

Group Therapy Sessions

  • Interpersonal learning, where members learn how to express their feelings in group settings, as well as their concerns and observations
  • A sense of ‘universality’ within its members so each individual doesn’t feel alone or isolated in his or her recovery, as isolation often leads to depression, severe anxiety, or relapse
  • A sense of altruism or ‘pro-social behavior’ where members activate alternative reward centers in the brain as a result of helping and supporting each other, also building higher self-esteem
  • A sense of encouragement and hope — as members discover that recovery is possible

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