In the broadest of terms, group therapy is a tool that is regularly applied in clinical addiction and rehab settings, a form of psychotherapy wherein a therapist treats a small group of people connected by a common concern, condition, or experience.
At Vita Recovery, we often recommend group therapy as a part of our holistic addiction treatment programs. We’ve seen how involving group dynamics can nurture breakthroughs in coping strategy development, facilitate addiction education, and perhaps most importantly, instill a sense of community and belonging to a regional cohort of professionals on the journey to better health and happier lives.
Many research-backed techniques work in group settings. Focusing on addiction, group therapy options can be narrowed down to:
Cognitive therapies - dealing with thought processes and behaviors that drive addiction
Dynamic therapies - focused on parsing behavioral regulation deficits
Psychoeducational groups - providing lectures and opportunities to discuss addiction science in-depth
Interpersonal groups - focused on interpersonal support, behavior, connection, relationships, and roles
Despite some unfortunate misconceptions, group therapy is never just a budget option for administering therapeutic interventions en masse. Group therapy is an invaluable tool with qualities that complement and fill in the gaps of one-on-one therapy. We find that group therapy also provides many roads to the existential catharsis that are simply not present in individual therapy. Synchronizing these allows clients to:
Find their voice - even the best communicators begin to silence themselves in addiction
Practice positive and collaborative interpersonal and relational skills
Engage a safety net - clients often build a support group that last a lifetime
Model, imitate, and innovate coping skills together
Navigate vulnerability - giving and receiving trust is a profound factor in mutual aid
Connect to the community - addiction is a lonely place, but some elements are universal, and group therapy reminds us that we are not alone.
Many therapeutic interventions have been designed or adapted for efficacy in group settings. At Vita Recovery, group therapy is a vital tool and space in which to highlight areas to delve deeper into.
Before making any recommendations, we begin with a series of medical and psycho-social assessments that the therapist will use to form a bespoke treatment plan and recommendations for each unique client. Our experienced in-house specialists may provide:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
12-step principle therapeutic support groups
Family therapy and counseling for family members
Group therapy often involves the same therapeutic backbone as other options, but it is not just individual therapy with more than one person involved. Member-to-member group dynamics and relationships are invaluable, cultivating many new ways of approaching issues. The best outcomes result when each person takes advantage of the setting.
A session with your therapy group will typically last between one and two hours. We schedule our sessions to control group size and ensure that each of the members has time to talk and fully engage. Long term sessions with the same cohort may span one to three months.
Our clients come from high-pressure walks of life, and confidentiality is a professional standard we uphold with the utmost care at all times. While we find members’ similar experiences do promote shared understanding, privacy, and trust, participants are never pressured to divulge more than they are comfortable with.
From professional to relationship issues, to family conflict, to personal emotional struggles and feelings, addiction’s influence can be seen all over everyday life - and therapy groups are encouraged to share organically. The therapist works to facilitate guided, relevant, and balanced conversations but is unlikely to restrict participants on issues.
Group therapy takes manual-informed addiction treatment to a collective setting. Typically, this form of therapy will place special focus on long-term relapse prevention tools, resilience building, and motivational enhancement. It may also involve psychoeducational lectures and discussions, role play, and other interpersonal tools that employ the assets of collective learning.
It could be daily or weekly, this depends on your needs. Vita Recovery clients receive individually crafted schedules informed by: Enrolment in either our PHP or IOP program Personal medical history, the substance of abuse, and any co-occurring disorders Individual client psycho-social and lifestyle needs and responsibilities
In addition to the coping or motivational skills intrinsic to the type of psychotherapy administered, participants in group therapy have the chance to grow in many ways as individuals. Members build relationships and work on social skills, including anger management, trust, and self-compassion - often reporting long-lasting changes in self-esteem and a more positive outlook for life and the future.
Group therapy services can and very often do promote healing from several mental health conditions, including substance use disorders, depression, anxiety, trauma, and various other issues - but don't trust those who say 'one-size-fits-all' as it doesn't - group therapy should be a specialist, informed, goal-oriented part of an adaptive treatment plan.
Group therapy is a clinical tool, administered by a therapist to clients expressing similar concerns. A support group is often a meeting of peers that convenes to share feelings and triggers, provide honest feedback, and build a sense of common humanity around shared issues in a supportive environment.
Group therapy at Vita Recovery is about putting the pieces back together. Our therapists and recovery community are centered on helping those interested in healing from addiction do so with privacy, efficacy, and discretion. Reach out to us today to learn more about our programs, or how group therapy could be personalized to your unique situation and hope you recover.