Group therapy is structured talk therapy where one or more therapists work with several people simultaneously. In group therapy, the participants share common challenges. Therapists lead the group utilizing various therapy techniques as they work through a particular theme in each session. Research shows that group therapy programs are equally as effective as individual therapy programs and can offer many benefits not found in individual therapy.
At Next Wind Recovery, we recognize the importance of group therapy as a tool for addiction treatment. Contact us today at 201.331.6569 to learn more about the benefits of group therapy for substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health disorders.
Understanding Group Therapy Techniques
Understandably, the thought of walking into a group of people where you are supposed to discuss your most private feelings, thoughts, and experiences is uncomfortable for most people. It is helpful to remember that you are likely not the only one feeling uneasy. Our years of experience leading group therapy sessions have taught us that these feelings pass, and clients quickly begin to look forward to their group sessions.
Group therapy is built upon the core belief that people feel better when recognizing that they are not alone in their struggles. One of the critical elements that make group therapy so successful is peer interactions. Groups help individuals build their social network, providing more social support and reducing stigma, isolation, and alienation.
Group therapy is an evidenced-based therapy that is a core element in most drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs and mental health treatment programs. Each session is different, but the common theme is getting clients to share and work through their challenges together. How sessions are conducted depends upon the goals of the group and the style of the therapist. However, three commonly used group therapy techniques include:
- Active listening – Careful listening that focuses on not just the words of the speaker but their non-verbal body language to fully understand the meaning of what is being said.
- Summarizing – Providing a recap of what was said to let the speaking know they were heard and ensure group members have a complete understanding.
- Linking – Allowing group members to see how they are connected through their similar problems, concerns, and goals.
Group therapy for addiction and mental health helps clients improve their communication and social skills and encourages the development of healthy relationships.
The Benefits of Group Therapy
Group therapy sessions are led by highly trained therapists who guide the group through topics related to your treatment. Clients receive education, build interpersonal relationships, and learn to regulate emotions and behaviors. Group therapy sessions can range in size from two people, as with couples or family therapy, to larger groups, like 12-step programs. There are numerous benefits to group therapy, including:
- Therapists can observe social interactions directly and provide feedback
- Members serve as role models for others in the group
- Provides a safe environment to practice new behaviors and social skills
- Members learn to be accountable for themselves and to others
- Members make connections that can lead to long-term relationships
- Seeing peers improve compels other group members to do the same
- Members learn from hearing about the experiences of others
Group therapy does not replace individual therapy, another critical component of addiction and mental health treatment. As an element of aftercare services, group therapy helps individuals manage life after treatment.
Reach Out to Next Wind Recovery for Group Therapy
At Next Wind Recovery, group therapy is part of our comprehensive addiction therapy and mental health treatment programs. While group members are not forced to participate during group, the more you engage, the better the outcomes. Our team understands the value of group therapy for lasting recovery. Contact us today at 201.331.6569 if you have questions about how a group therapy program will benefit your treatment. Our team is ready to help get you started on your path to recovery.