Addiction is a very isolating experience that can separate individuals from their family and friends, leaving them feeling alone and unsupported. Many people struggling with addiction may also be in denial or fear seeking help, furthering their sense of loneliness and alienation. At Banbury Lodge, our addiction-focused group therapy sessions are dedicated to providing a space where you have the opportunity to connect with other people that are going through the same struggles as you, guided by our professional therapists that facilitate your road to recovery.
What is group therapy for addiction?
Group therapy for addiction is a form of addiction counselling that involves a group of people with similar issues meeting with a trained therapist or counsellor to discuss the struggles they are facing related to their addiction. This type of therapy provides a supportive environment to help those struggling with addiction and enables the individual to have access to group-based activities, coping strategies and relapse-prevention techniques.
Because of its known effectiveness, group therapy is implemented as part of our rehabilitation treatment programme at Banbury Lodge.
Is group therapy for addictions effective?
Group therapy is especially helpful for those with drug and alcohol addiction and those struggling with substance abuse.
A 2019 meta-study of 31 different studies found that group therapy was more effective than other forms of therapy when improving the mental state of the participating individuals.
In fact, when you take a look at our past client interviews, it’s clear to see the positive effects that group therapy had on our previous attendees.
Previous client Richard had this to say about our group therapy:
“You are understood and accepted straight away, which is a revelation because you’ve spent so long thinking nobody understands you.”
Group therapy can also be difficult if you’re not the type to speak up publicly. Rest assured, our team of professional therapists understands the situation and wants to get the best from you.
Our former patient Sara had something to say on this matter;
“They (the therapists) will use the feelings to ask you questions, and before you know it you are speaking. Then they will move onto someone else and then back to you to see if you relate and before you know it, you’re responding and you’re in group therapy. It’s very clever.”
What are the benefits of group therapy for addiction?
Group therapy is a powerful tool in treating addiction because it allows individuals to be heard and to learn from others who are facing similar challenges. Here are some of the main benefits of group therapy for addiction:
- Support and Encouragement: In group therapy, individuals can develop a strong support system with their peers and therapists. They have an opportunity to give and receive feedback and to provide guidance and encouragement to one another as they progress through their journey of recovery.
- Identification: By attending group sessions, individuals can gain insight into their own behaviours and triggers for relapse by observing how others in the group respond in similar situations. This helps to identify potential issues and promotes personal growth.
- Normalisation: Group sessions provide an opportunity for individuals to normalise their experiences and recognise that there is no single pathway to recovery from addiction. It also helps individuals to recognise that they are not alone in dealing with this issue.
- Coping Skills: Group therapies often involve teaching new coping strategies based on cognitive-behavioural therapy or other evidence-based approaches. This provides individuals with skills that can help to prevent relapse and manage cravings in the future.
- Self-Reflection: Through guided discussions, members of the group can engage in self-reflection that can help them to understand their own motivations and behaviours better, leading to more effective decision-making in challenging situations.
How are addiction-focused group therapy sessions carried out?
In typical group therapy sessions that are addiction-focused, you can expect the therapist to encourage you and the other group members to express thoughts, feelings and experiences with addiction. The therapist’s aim is to support the entire group as you all work toward recovery.
The therapist helps you and the other group members to understand the biological and psychological aspects of addiction, provides education about relapse prevention strategies, and encourages members to share their struggles, hopes and progress.
The therapist will try to help with the following;
- Providing feedback and guidance to group members
- Conducting activities such as role-playing
- Helping the group identify triggers and high-risk situations
- Facilitating problem-solving and relaxation techniques
- Providing support and empathy
- Helping the group develop healthy communication skills
What types of methods are used in group therapy?
Because group therapy typically focuses on helping participants learn new skills or rekindle knowledge of old, lost skills, there are many approaches used within the group therapy programme at addiction rehab. Common methods used in group therapy are:
- Psychoeducation: This involves educating participants on a variety of topics that may include mental health disorders, coping strategies, self-care measures, and relationship dynamics.
- Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT): This approach focuses on the process of identifying and challenging unhealthy thought patterns in order to change behaviour and develop healthier behaviours.
- Emotion-focused therapy: Rather than examining thoughts and behaviours, this approach focuses on helping people to identify, accept, and regulate their own emotions.
- Interpersonal therapy (IPT): This method is used to help participants develop better communication skills and build relationships with others in the group.
- Experiential interventions: This may involve expressive activities such as art or role-playing that can help build insight and self-awareness.
- Solution-focused therapy (SFT): The focus in this approach is on identifying strengths and resources within the group to work towards desired outcomes and solutions.
What mindset should I have when entering group therapy for addiction?
When attending group therapy for addiction, it is important to have an open, accepting, and non-judgmental mindset. This means leaving personal judgments and any biases at the door and understanding that everyone is here for the same purpose- to learn healthy coping mechanisms for addiction and to find a community for support and understanding. You could also try the following tips:
- Be respectful of others: It is important to remain open-minded and respectful of other people’s experiences in group therapy. Everyone comes from different backgrounds and perspectives, and each person has their own unique story to share. Try to be compassionate and understanding of others’ struggles and refrain from comparing your own progress to theirs.
- Don’t be afraid of yourself: When sharing your experiences in group therapy, it is important to remain authentic and honest. Don’t be afraid to open up about your thoughts and feelings, as this can be an important part of the healing process. However, if someone else’s story or experience triggers a strong emotional reaction in you, it may be best to focus on grounding techniques or express your feelings in a constructive way.
- Be patient: Have realistic expectations for yourself when attending group therapy for addiction. While it is important to make progress, it can take time to start seeing results. Be patient with yourself throughout the process and remember that progress is not always linear—there may be setbacks along the way.