Substance Abuse Treatment and Group Therapy

smiling man at group therapy meeting
Substance Abuse Treatment and Group Therapy

Substance Abuse Treatment and Group Therapy


Substance abuse treatment might include group therapy sessions, which can either occur through inpatient or outpatient services.  Many inpatient programs provide group therapy to complement other types of therapy received.  There are many advantages to attending group therapy sessions, which are outlined below.  Some individuals consider 12-step meetings “group therapy”; however, there are considerable differences.  First, 12-step meetings were not designed to be therapeutic in nature.  Second, group therapy is typically conducted by a trained professional who can properly assess group dynamics and ensure safety of the group’s’ members.  Finally, group therapy is educational in nature and allows the addict in treatment to receive feedback from more seasoned participants or a trained professional.

Advantages of Group Therapy


  1. Group therapy can provide members an opportunity to learn about their substance abuse and the recovery process with a trained professional.  In some groups, members can ask questions about their addiction and receive answers either from other more seasoned group members or from the group facilitator.
  2. Group therapy is therapy even if others are present.  A person can receive assistance with challenging irrational thoughts related to their addiction and can receive therapeutic intervention in terms of family dynamics or dysfunctional behaviors.
  3. Group members are offered a safe environment in which to discuss their issues with others and each member must acknowledge the group rules including confidentiality and informed consent.
  4. Group therapy provides a support network to those in recovery.  Many members find it helpful to listen to how others are working a program of recovery with input from the group facilitator.
  5. The group facilitator can provide therapeutic input and feedback that can benefit the entire group.  Some group facilitators will have a theme for a particular group, such as what to do instead of drinking alcohol or taking a drug.  This collaborative educational process can help group members and allow for cross-sharing of ideas.
  6. Group therapy is typically offered in a structured environment.  There are rules to be followed when attending group therapy and the group facilitator will outline these rules at the beginning of each session.  These rules might include one person speaks at a time, questions will be answered once everyone has had a chance to speak, or no cross-communication.  These rules enable a type of structure and routine that can be considered important for the recovering addict.
An integrative approach to treatment is necessary for healing the mind, the body, and the spirit from the effects of addiction, trauma, and mental health. Cottonwood Tucson offers critically acclaimed clinical care for men, women, and adolescents. Call us today for information on our internationally recognized programs. (888) 727-0441.

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