There are numerous therapies designed to help people recover from substance use disorder (an addiction to drugs or alcohol). In the right substance abuse treatment program, individuals will find themselves engaged in a combination of one-on-one therapy and group sessions. Group therapy typically consists of having a professional therapist offering treatment to two or more individuals in the same setting. Many group therapists conduct substance abuse group therapy activities to encourage each member to bond and open up to each other. That offers them the opportunity to form a support network and learn from each other’s experiences. Group therapy gives clients a safe space to process their feelings and learn to express them constructively. Those skills become essential when confronted with various triggers outside of the group setting.
At Oceanfront Recovery, we make it a point to provide individuals with a broad range of therapeutic options, group therapy among them, because we know it’s necessary to help each person heal.
Are Substance Abuse Groups Effective?
Most people who engage in substance abuse group therapy activities find that they feel less isolated from the world. They find the experience of allowing others to witness their struggles and triumphs during the recovery process to be rewarding. It helps immerse themselves deeper in the culture, which helps them avoid situations that led them down the path to substance abuse. Within group therapy, the counselor or therapist will employ several different methodologies to help those in the session identify, access, learn healthy coping mechanisms to deal with, and ultimately overcome their issues spring from and caused by addiction. Some of the approaches you may encounter in group therapy include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
Another benefit of group setting is that everyone is encouraged to leave judgment outside the door. That’s essential to getting clients to be honest about what they’ve experienced while in the throes of an addiction. They get the chance to be honest without feeling that others in the group will shame them. This is because they’ve likely gone through a similar situation.
Examples of Substance Abuse Group Therapy Activities
Each therapist has preferred substance abuse group therapy activities, so each person’s experience will be different during a session.
Many groups start in the following ways:
- Asking new members to introduce themselves
- Discuss why they’re in a group therapy program
- Talk about goals for group therapy
Those clients may feel open enough to detail personal issues they need advice on from the therapist or other members.
An alternative way of doing this is by random selection. A therapist may pull out a beach ball or other item and have members pass it around to each other. This allows everyone to discuss what’s on their mind. It’s also a good way for members leaving the group to express what they’ve learned and how they hope to use the lessons learned on the outside.
Reflection and Affirmation
One of the most difficult things for those in recovery is to forgive themselves for their actions while under the influence. Many group therapists try to help members focus on self-love by closing their eyes and breathing while they read positive affirmations aloud. The hope is that each client will absorb the message and apply it to themselves.
Basic Skill Development
It’s easy for people to get thrown off-track in recovery when confronted with a challenging situation. Some therapists use the following substance abuse therapy activities to help.
- Guiding client breathing
- Encouraging positive visualization
- Learning to relax in stressful situations
Practicing these skills during a group session makes it easier to put them into practice while at work, school, or in various social settings.
Another common substance abuse group therapy activity is getting clients to go over the problems they’ve run into because of poor communication. Therapists guide them through scenarios where everyone gets the chance to learn better ways of expressing themselves. They learn how word choice influences what they say and cut them off from potential opportunities.
Receive Substance Abuse Treatment at Oceanfront Recovery
Oceanfront Recovery offers clients the opportunity to participate in different therapies and programs geared toward helping them get through substance abuse issues.
- Addiction Treatment Therapy
- Drug and Alcohol Detox
- Residential Treatment Program
- Intensive Outpatient Program
- Sober Living Homes
Allow yourself to participate in substance abuse group therapy activities by calling Oceanfront Recovery at (877) 296-7477.