Group Therapy and Substance Abuse
Drug and alcohol abuse can kill you. But did you know that it can kill your relationships?
One of the most devastating parts of addiction is that it can destroy your relationships with others. Drugs and alcohol abuse might separate people from relatives and friends. Even if addicts remain in relationships, addiction can drive wedges between addicts and their loved ones.
Group therapy is a good way to rebuild relationships, and requires addicts to meet with others to explore and treat addictions. Group therapy activities attempt to steer addicts away from the self-destructive isolation of addiction. This type of therapy encourages them to build or rebuild relationships that support healthy and sober lifestyles.
Fears about Group Counseling
Let’s face it: many people don’t like to speak in public. For some, the idea of group therapy is especially scary. Not only are you talking in front of others, but you are telling these people some of your biggest problems and fears. Substance abusers considering group therapy might want to ask themselves a few questions:
- How comfortable am I sharing personal information with a group?
- How much personal information should I share with a group?
- Will other group members reveal my personal information with others outside of the group?
Addicts should remember that substance abuse treatment at Monarch Shores is confidential. Professionals who treat substance abuse and mental health are legally required to keep most information confidential. As their names indicate, support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous (AA and NA) also encourage anonymity so members become more comfortable seeking help and sharing stories.
Substance abusers should remember that group therapy is just that—a group. The others in the group have many similar problems. They would be upset if sensitive information left the group, so there is always an understanding that personal problems should never leave the room.
Many substance abusers find that their speaking fears diminish with each group therapy session. Ideally, they grow to know and trust fellow group members. Members also become more accustomed to group therapy activities and the format of the sessions. Group members should remember that they do not have to speak in meetings and can say as much as they want during these sessions.
Choosing the Right Group Counseling
There are many choices when it comes to treatment, rehab, and recovery. There are also many choices when it comes to group therapy. To narrow down these options, substance abusers considering group therapy might want to ask themselves a few questions:
- Do I want to seek group therapy on an inpatient or an outpatient basis?
- Do I want to meet with others with my same addiction or addicts of other substances?
- Do I want to meet with other addicts my same age or the same gender?
These questions yield many answers:
- Addicts can attend group therapy sessions if they stay in inpatient rehab facilities. These centers offer group therapy activities, sessions, and more traditional components of rehab.
- Group therapy activities on an outpatient treatment program basis allow addicts to receive therapy while sticking closer to home.
- Meeting with others with the same addiction can be helpful for receiving specialized treatment.
- Meeting with other addicts who have other addictions might be a good way to address addiction in general and for comparing stories.
- Addicts who are the same age might be able to sympathize more with the addictions and lifestyles of other addicts the same age.
- Group therapy featuring members of one gender can often make group members feel more comfortable sharing things within their groups.
Considering these questions and answers can help narrow down the huge amount of rehab options available. For further guidance, consider calling Monarch Shores. Our counselors can help you determine whether group counseling or other types of treatment could work best for you or your loved one. Do you have questions or concerns? Our intake coordinators will answer them.
Are you or your loved one suffering from addiction?
Do you have questions or concerns? Our intake coordinators will answer them.
Family Group Counseling
Family counseling can be a powerful tool to treat addiction. This form of group therapy recognizes that addiction hurts addicts’ entire families, not just the addict themselves. This also recognizes that family dynamics can either encourage addiction or help to heal.
Family group counseling might include:
- Educating group members about how families operate and how their own family operates.
- Requiring all family members to take personal responsibility for issues.
- Helping strengthen all members of the group so the entire family can function better.
- Looking for problems within the family dynamic and developing ways to solve them.
- Giving homework assignments to family members so they can practice what they have learned in therapy in the real world.
Like other types of alcohol and drug abuse treatment plans, family therapy might not be the ideal solution for everyone. Other solutions might work better to treat certain families, or some families might seek family therapy and other forms of treatment at the same time.
Support Group Counseling
Support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous (AA and NA) are the types of group assistance that many people associate with group therapy for addiction. Some debate whether AA and NA are really therapy. They argue that unlike many forms of group therapy, trained professionals do not usually lead AA and NA meetings. Similarly, AA and NA sponsors are other members of AA and NA, not professional addiction specialists.
A support group such as AA does share some similarities with forms of group therapy. In both types of treatment, addicts gather with other addicts. The addicts use these meetings to share their stories and coping mechanisms. Both treatments provide group therapy activities that build a sense of community. They remind addicts that they are not alone, and there is help.
Such help can come from a variety of sources, including support groups, group therapy, and inpatient rehab facilities. All feature people helping other people. To find an inpatient rehab center, users should consider calling other people—Monarch Shores. We can help connect you to the right people and treatments to help end your addiction and your isolation.
Talk with one of our Treatment Specialists!
Call 24/7: 949-276-2886