6 Types of Group Therapy

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

There is no way around it. Recovery is up to us. We cannot expect anyone else to take the mantle of sobriety for us. Getting and staying clean starts and ends on our own shoulders. That said, no recovering addict is an island—thank goodness. In fact, if you try to do it alone, you are far less likely to make it for the long haul. Lasting recovery happens in community and group therapy is one of the best ways to keep that going in your life.

Support, feedback, encouragement, someone to call at one in the morning when the cravings are clawing at our brains, these are just a few of the benefits of group therapy.

Beyond that, group therapy helps those in recovery put into practice the essential life skills they need to adequately take care of themselves on a daily basis. Plus they help out with understanding healthy and effective communication skills we need to repair the relationships we might have damaged with our destructive behavior as well as create new friendships.

The following are six types of group therapy that are popular in drug treatment programs and beyond.

1. Psychotherapy Groups

Group psychotherapy is based on the understanding that the relationships that are built between people are necessary to regulate all aspects of daily living. These groups focus on what members can do in the here and now and help members work together to form a cohesive group in which they can freely share their victories and setbacks in a safe and supportive environment.

Therapists that use psychotherapy in a group setting must practice empathy in order for individual group members to communicate freely with each other. These groups help those new in recovery build the interpersonal skills they need in order to effectively communicate with others in a healthy manner.

2. Cognitive Therapy Groups

Another popular type of group therapy in drug treatment is cognitive therapy groups. As its name suggests, these particular groups use cognitive behavioral therapy and other similar therapy styles that will help newly recovering addicts identify patterns of behavior that have kept them stuck in their substance abuse.

Therapists in cognitive therapy groups work with clients to control their thought processes and their addictive behaviors and help give them the tools to cope with the stressors and triggers they encounter in a more proactive fashion and without having to resort to the use of drugs and alcohol.

wilderness treatment for drug rehab

Wilderness Treatment

You also might be interested in finding out more about our Wilderness Treatment Program at First Steps Recovery in Clovis, California (Fresno County). Used in conjunction with individual therapy, group counseling, art therapy, music therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and more, our Wilderness Treatment Program is a therapeutic intervention that uses nature as a backdrop and adventure and exploration as a tool for growth and self-discovery.

3. Dynamic Group Therapy

Dynamic group therapy is yet another popular therapy option that drug and alcohol rehab facilities use to help addicts address and overcome addictive behaviors. This form of addiction group therapy focuses on an addict’s deficits in both regulating their own behavior and any defects in character the addict may possess. Dynamic group therapy gives clients the supportive environment to examine the common issues that are shared within the group. This cohesiveness allows each member to overcome feelings of isolation and shame, as well as establish a safe environment with the goal of learning how to effectively control their emotions and feelings and achieve abstinence.

4. Relapse Prevention Groups

As a person successfully completes a drug treatment program, they may feel their recovery journey has come to an end. In reality, the real work in recovery truly begins once an individual transitions back into their normal daily routines. The first few months of recovery is when addicts are at their most vulnerable, and it is important for people new in sobriety to have the extra support needed to make this transition much easier.

Relapse prevention support groups are a major fixture of aftercare programs and are designed to help clients identify the triggers in their environment that have the potential to lead them to relapse. In these groups, clients work on refining coping skills and lean heavily on peer support, continued involvement in 12-step groups, and the utilization of educational programming that will help addicts better understand the chronic disease of addiction.

5. Mutual Self-Help Groups

Perhaps the most common, effective, and popular type of group therapy outside of an intensive treatment program are mutual self-help support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous. Many drug and alcohol treatment facilities base their programs and services on 12-step philosophy, and active participation within these groups is paramount in helping the individual overcome their addiction. 

These self-help groups are made up of people who share a common condition and a common goal. Outside of residential treatment, AA groups are self-run and offered in large groups, small groups, and other meeting types. These meetings are free of charge and focus on mutual support and the achievement of abstinence.

6. Network Therapy

A big indicator of success in sobriety is the presence of a substantial support network comprising of family and friends who are fully supportive of a person’s decision to lead a recovery-based lifestyle. Network therapy involves using the social network of the newly recovering addict in a group format to provide support for behavioral change and relapse prevention.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy provides the foundations for network therapy, and its ultimate goals are to help clients achieve and maintain their hard-earned sobriety. It is believed that participation of individuals who are part of the patient’s network of relationships can enhance the outcome of treatment.

Call First Steps Recovery Today for More Information on Group Therapy

Group therapy is one of the essential foundations of an effective individual plan of recovery. When you choose to undergo drug treatment at First Steps Recovery, our experienced addiction professionals can use a wide variety of group therapy options in order to individually tailor a program that means your unique and specific needs. If you or a loved one needs professional help in dealing with your substance abuse issues, pick up the phone today and call First Steps Recovery: 844-489-0836. Make recovery a reality.

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