We have a natural tendency to congregate, which is what makes group therapy such a powerful and successful therapeutic tool for treating substance abuse. One of the core reasons why this approach is so effective is that groups offer several intrinsic benefits. Besides witnessing the recovery of others, group therapy also helps individuals treat many of the issues that accompany substance abuse, including isolation, shame, denial, and depression.
Being just one of the key components of a successful treatment plan, addiction group therapy offers help for those struggling with drug and/or alcohol abuse. This type of program will also support positive mental health as clients develop relationships with those in their program.
What Is Group Therapy and What Is It Good For?
Group therapy involves one or more therapists treating a small group of individuals at the same time. This is what makes group therapy different from support groups. While support groups are led by those who lived under specific circumstances, group therapy is led by therapists.
On average, a session will include anywhere between five and fifteen patients. These groups typically meet for an hour or two each week. Some groups will meet for a set period of time, such as 12 weeks. Others will meet indefinitely — each individual's treatment plan is unique to them. In many cases, those who attend group therapy also take part in individual therapy sessions.
While both have their advantages, group therapy gives people in therapy the opportunity to learn new coping and communication skills, while gaining strength and support from their peers. When comparing the effectiveness of group therapy vs individual therapy, the available research comes to the same conclusion — there is no functional difference. Both of these therapy options are equally effective.
This conclusion is based on the results of more than 50 clinical trials, comparing individuals who were randomly assigned to individual or group therapy. While focusing on group therapy, this option has been shown to exceed standards for efficacy when aiming to treat depression, panic disorder, PTSD, bipolar, OCD, bulimia, substance abuse disorder, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, and more.
Group therapy is included in both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs.
Why Is Group Therapy Effective?
For many, group therapy can be more powerful than individual therapy. That is because a strong support system is at the center of addiction treatment.
All groups can offer therapeutic benefits, particularly those that are meaningful. Whenever someone becomes emotionally attached to a leader or a specific group as a whole, that relationship will have the potential to influence that individual in a positive way — and more importantly, initiate positive change.
In that sense, research shows that the most effective groups are those that have a shared sense of purpose. The ability to interact with others allows people to heal.
Over the past decade or so, group therapy has gained popularity for several reasons. One of those main reasons is that it’s a more affordable alternative to one-on-one psychotherapy, and the other is that research is demonstrating its efficacy.
The core benefits of group therapy include but are not limited to:
Reduced feelings of isolation
Group therapy helps you feel as though you're not alone in your battle. Although each individual is unique in terms of their addiction and recovery process, you are never alone in your struggles. When you enter group therapy, you instantly reduce feelings of isolation and alienation.
You get the sense that "we're all in this together" — which is highly motivational. When you take part in group therapy, you quickly realize that others share similar struggles. This has been shown to be particularly impactful in cases of abuse or trauma. This often leads to instances of altruism, where group members share their strengths and support to help others.
The ability to relate to others and yourself in a healthier way
Individual therapy is important in that it focuses on your perspectives and personal needs to heal and grow. In contrast, group therapy allows you to work on critical relational dynamics in real-time, all while connecting to others and yourself.
Sometimes, hearing other people’s stories will allow you to see your life differently. This dynamic can help you become more compassionate and vulnerable. As each individual improves, the group as a whole will benefit — it can be a very powerful and enlightening experience. When you see that others are able to make progress, you begin to realize that you too, can learn to cope and live a healthier, more fulfilling life.
Group Therapy in Salt Lake City
If you or your loved one are in need of support, Pinnacle Recovery is an inpatient residential and intensive outpatient treatment center for adults struggling with mental health issues and addiction. At Pinnacle Recovery, we understand the value of group therapy, offering a professional environment that allows our clients to share their past experiences, current struggles, and future goals.
Although we develop a customized treatment plan for each individual client, group therapy is present in the majority of our treatment programs based on its high level of success. It offers a unique dynamic that encourages greater social support, all while allowing individuals to help on a more personal level.
Regardless of your current situation, we can help. Taking the first step towards your recovery means taking a step towards the life you deserve. If you’re unsure how to initiate treatment, all you need to do is call. We will help you determine the best course of action based on your individual needs and goals.
If you think that you have a problem with drugs or alcohol and you believe that you need an inpatient or outpatient program that offers intensive group and family therapy, then contact the professionals at Pinnacle Recovery today, at 1-833-746-2251. Our trained staff at our Salt Lake City facility know exactly what you are going through and what you need in order to finally overcome your addiction and achieve the life of recovery you have always wanted.