GROUP THERAPY PROGRAM
ROAD to a Better Life’s Group Therapy Program consists of sixty minute weekly sessions that our participants are required to attend every week.
Group Therapy is an indispensable element of effective substance misuse and mental health treatment. It can be as effective as individual sessions.
Advantages of Group Therapy:
- Offers education about the recovery process.
- Provides support and motivation from peers to maintain recovery goals.
- Gives members the opportunity to observe issues encountered by others in recovery and observe their methods of problem-solving.
- Empowers group members by encouraging them to offer assistance and feedback to other members.
- Teaches healthy coping skills to manage daily stressors without resorting to substance misuse.
- Boosts structure and routine in the lives of group members.
- Builds a sense of optimism, self-worth, and belief in group members.
- Develops relationships between group members that can be used outside of sessions for support and encouragement.
- Effectively treats many individuals simultaneously with one therapist, allowing patients quicker access to therapy.
- Utilizes therapeutic tools (such as challenging irrational beliefs and confronting poor decision-making) to modify behaviors.
Is Group Therapy Right for Me?
Individuals interested in attending group therapy will need to be matched up with a group that suits their individual needs. Before placing an individual in a group, a provider will consider the individual’s:
- Treatment Preference
- Unique Needs
- Emotional Stability
- Stage in Recovery
Some individuals will not be fit for group therapy based on their current status. This therapeutic method may be inappropriate for those who:
- Refuse group therapy as a viable treatment option
- Cannot maintain confidentiality and are at risk for breaking group rules
- Are currently in crisis with severe, unmanageable symptoms
- Struggle to build suitable relationships
- Experience extreme stress around other people and new situations
Models of Group Therapy
In skill development groups, the group leader will have a similar position as a teacher, but here, the material provided will be more specific to the group members and their individual needs. Skill development groups will depend more on the group interacting with each other rather than only the leader speaking to them.
The group sessions will focus on a skill that contributes to the members’ ability to remain substance free. Potential group topics include:
- Handling triggers to engage in substance misuse or related behaviors.
- Positively interacting and communicating with others.
- Identifying and modifying responses to anger.
- Improving parenting skills.
- Managing financial responsibilities.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a widely used evidence-based style of therapy that operates on the idea that negative behaviors are learned and reinforced over time. To change these behaviors, the individual must work to modify the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that contribute to substance misuse. One example of a thought that may contribute to continued substance misuse is “I’m a bad person; I don’t deserve to be sober.” By modifying damaging thoughts and beliefs, the individual can accomplish the changes needed to sustain recovery.
To accomplish these changes, a CBT group will:
- Identify the members’ distorted beliefs and problematic behaviors.
- Teach and encourage the use of new thinking and behavior patterns.
- Offer relapse prevention training.
As the name suggests, the principle focus of a support group is to offer care and understanding to all members of the group. This support will come from the group leader and from one member to the others. The leader will help members to improve their interpersonal skills as they engage in group discussion, share experiences, and help each other resolve their challenges.
The therapist will demonstrate the desired level of communication, model respectful interaction, and provide positive reinforcement for members.
Interpersonal process groups attempt to promote healing in members through an understanding of psychodynamics (the way individuals function psychologically). The group leader will note and process:
- How each member is feeling and functioning in the group.
- How the members are interacting with each other.
- How the group is performing as a whole.
A focus will be on emotional development and childhood concerns that, when left unresolved, lead to poor decision-making, impulsivity, and unhealthy coping skills. By resolving these issues, the person can improve their judgment.
With interpersonal group therapy, the content covered in each group session is secondary. Rather, the leader looks to see how the group members are behaving and interacting in the present and how their present is being influenced by their past.