What is group therapy? It is a model of psychotherapy that was developed about 80 years ago when clinicians realized that the dynamics within a group magnified the effects of therapy. Group therapy does not replace individual therapy but is a highly effective approach often included in a treatment plan. The group model works well for mental health and addiction therapy and is considered an evidence-based modality when conducted by a trained, licensed therapist.
To learn more about how group therapy can help you or someone you love with addiction recovery, reach out to CeDAR today to speak to someone on our staff. We can answer questions and provide data that support group therapy’s efficacy within addiction rehab. Contact us by filling out our online form or by calling 720.848.3000.
What Is Group Therapy?
Group therapy is not a peer support group. Though peers in recovery participate in group therapy, sessions are guided by a mental health counselor—unlike peer support group meetings.
Some of the elements of therapy that a group model amplifies include:
- Inclusion – In group therapy, participants do not feel isolated. They share not only the experience of addiction but the process of recovery as they work together through the steps of addiction therapy.
- Social skills – Part of therapy is learning skills that enable a successful discharge and return to post-rehab life. Interacting as a sober person can be unsettling and challenging, but group therapy offers opportunities to practice those skills within a group in a safe, trigger-free setting.
- Empathy through imitation – The complicated emotions connected to addiction and the start of recovery can be overwhelming. Many people with a substance use disorder (SUD) have been shut down and in denial for so long that navigating therapy is hard at first. In a group setting, patients watch as others share their truths with vulnerability and honesty and listen to their peers with compassion. The group positively affects individuals within it as everyone strives to be present and authentic.
For a well-rounded addiction treatment experience, group therapy is a significant piece of a professionally created individualized treatment plan within a rehab program.
How Does Group Therapy Work?
Part of why group therapy is so effective is that it is rooted in group dynamics. Humans are innately group beings. Even for shy or introverted people, the draw is to be part of a tribe, community, or extended family. People in recovery from addiction usually have a social group they need to separate from—one that has not been healthy for them and has supported and shared in their self-harming habits. By engaging in healthy interpersonal relationships within the group therapy model, a positive belonging happens—one that leads to sobriety and lasting wellness.
When you are in group therapy, you and others share your past experiences and future aspirations, undergo behavioral and emotional transformations, and practice everything from radical honesty to conversational role-playing – all under the supervision and guidance of a psychotherapist. Every counselor constructs and leads groups differently, but here are some general facts about the process. Group therapy:
- Lasts about an hour per session but can go longer depending on the number of participants and whether it is conducted within outpatient or inpatient rehab
- Meets weekly for outpatient patients, but patients in a residential program can meet several times a week or even daily
- Has clear rules that protect the safety and confidentiality of all, which are the responsibility of the psychotherapist to enforce
- Usually includes up to 12 people but only needs one therapist and two patients to work
- Has as its aim the mutual benefit of all members
When you are ready to learn more about group therapy in your area and how it works, consider CeDAR.
Consider Group Therapy with CeDAR in Denver, CO
If you’re asking, “Where can I find group therapy near me?” look no further. CeDAR offers group therapy, among numerous other evidence-based therapies and treatment models. We provide all our therapies in outpatient and gender-specific inpatient programs and can treat addiction to any substance, including alcohol and opioids.
Learn how we use group therapy to improve your recovery outcomes at CeDAR. Contact us via our online form or phone. Our number is 720.848.3000. We look forward to hearing from you.