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Group Therapy: Can Be Helpful for Recovering Addicts

Posted on :  November 23rd, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

In every addiction treatment center all over the world, group therapy sessions are held. These sessions offer an alternative treatment to medication. They help people understand that they are not alone and that they can rely on other people to help them work through their challenges. If family and friends are unable to empathize with the recovering addict, then a therapy group can fill that void.

Not every group therapy session is conducted in the same way, but they have a similar purpose: to provide support. The differences include the way that they are lead, the topics they cover, and the locations where they are held. Regardless of the differences, there are features of every group therapy session that happen in each one. Many people refer to the features as the “Three C’s. These can be helpful not only for group leaders to remember, but for participants to keep in mind as they work with the people and the leader in their groups.

The first “C” is Community. Every group therapy session is a form of working with others and getting involved in a community. When people are addicted, they cut themselves off from their loved ones and community. This is true for nearly everyone who needs to get themselves involved in group therapy, whether it be for addiction or another form of mental illness. The sessions help the relearn how to engage with other people.

It is easy for anyone suffering from addiction to develop a sense of loneliness, which can continue the need for addiction. When recovering addicts engage with their fellow addicts, they are able to practice interacting with other people. They can take that practice out into the real world, which can be a frightening experience without the practice sessions in group therapy. Most group therapy leaders have to establish ground rules for the group, so all members can feel safe and encouraged. The members need to be able to develop relationships with each other so they can remember how good it feels to engage with a real community.

Once community is established, group therapy sessions need to focus on change. They are designed to help recovering addicts manage their lives in a new way, without relying on addictive substances. This is a big change, which is why so many people benefit from having a group that has experienced the same situations. Change is vital, but it is difficult to do, which is why support groups is necessary for the success of the group members.

When leaders are establishing rules, they need to provide boundaries and stability. Group members need to know what to do when a new member is added or one stops attending. They need to understand how to manage change within the group, as well as outside of the group. By working through change in this small, controlled environment, recovering addictions are able to take the lessons into the real world. Leaders help them recognize their feelings and how to create positive patterns that avoid the use of narcotics.

The final feature of every successful group therapy session is choice. It might seem that the last thing recovering addicts need is choice, but they need to know how to make choices without needing to use drugs. Leaders are able to focus the group on the limitations of addictions, and how important it is to make choices with a clear head. Group participants can work together to discuss the processes of choice and how they can work together as a community to positively change their lives without drugs.

If you have any questions about recovery from heroin or other opioids, we, at Towards Recovery Clinics welcome phone calls 905-527-2042 and emails

Who We Serve ?

  • Individuals using/abusing street narcotics (e.g. heroin).
  • Patients abusing prescription narcotics(i.e., Codeine, Talwin, Percocet/Percodan, Dilaudid, Morphine or Demerol, et cetera).
  • Individuals displaying any of the following behaviours: Compulsive drug use or drug seeking/craving.
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