What is group therapy?
Group therapy is when one or more therapists lead a therapy session for a group of people. Groups typically range between five to 15 people at a time and meet one to two hours per week. While it can be used alone, many people who attend group sessions will also receive individual therapy sessions as well.
Many times you will find groups that are formed to address specific issues such as substance abuse, depression, social anxiety, obesity, chronic pain, etc. However, there are some groups out there that focus on more general types of issues such as anger and loneliness.
What happens in group therapy?
The group therapy circle. Yes, it’s real and not just done in the movies. Group sessions usually take place in a private room with chairs arranged in a circle. This is for optimal visibility and the chance for everyone to see each other, but without one person being the center of focus.
To start off the conversation, therapists or facilitators of the group may begin by asking a simple question, such as if anyone wants to share how they are feeling or how their day has been. There is usually a natural progression of the conversation. Games and learning exercises might be introduced in order to help group members build bonds with one another or to teach different skills or coping mechanisms. How the sessions are structured really depends on the therapist’s preference and can change on a weekly basis.
One of the most important aspects of group therapy is establishing a trusting environment where people are comfortable enough to share their thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment. It is up to the participants to be respectful of one another and up to the therapist(s) to ensure participants comply.
What makes group therapy so effective?
Individuals struggling with substance abuse can sometimes feel like they are alone and no one else understands what they are going through. Group therapy shows people that is not the case. Groups can turn into great support systems. You never know what you may learn from someone else’s story or how they deal with certain situations. Knowing that other people are dealing with the same problems you are can be comforting and a relief.
Additionally, everyone in the group is working towards the same goal so members have a safe space where they can try new coping techniques and mirror positive behaviors from other group members and the therapists or facilitators.
Best of all, group therapy can instill hope in people. Not everyone will be in the same state of the recovery treatment process. So, for those that are a little further ahead, they can be an inspiration to newer members. At the same time, when group members share their stories and realize that they can be helping someone else in the process, that can significantly boost self-esteem and confidence.
Individual therapy vs group therapy
Individual therapy is when a client and therapist work together one-on-one. Group therapy is when one or more therapists run a therapy session with multiple people at once. There are advantages and disadvantages of each, but it is up to you and your therapist to decide what the best course of action will be to help treat your addiction. Individual therapy sessions build upon the skills and lessons learned during group therapy sessions and community meetings to ensure the patient has a complete understanding of what’s needed to continue on a path of lifelong recovery. There are significant benefits when combining the two types of therapy into a treatment plan, especially when it comes to overcoming substance abuse.
Group Therapy at Victory Bay Recovery Center
At Victory Bay Recovery Center, we create individualized substance abuse treatment programs that are tailored to help you succeed, which is why group therapy is included. To learn more about our programs, contact us today at 855.239.5099.