Substance abuse group therapy is a type of group therapy sessions aimed at allowing recovering addicts to help one another. The overall theme of this therapy is to bring together addicts recovering from similar addictions to show that each member is not alone in his or her struggle. Serving others, especially those suffering from addictions like themselves, is an important milestone in rehabilitating addicts because it helps prevent someone who is recovering from any addiction from feeling as lonely and it helps them develop a support base.
There are many different ways to become involved in substance abuse group therapy. Sometimes it is court ordered, but many people choose to come to substance abuse group therapy because they are making the conscious decision to change their lives and they want the support and encouragement that a group setting provides. Group therapy provides a unique way to counsel recovering addicts in that the stories of members are generally out in the open. This provides group members a view of the greater picture behind addictions. Substance abuse group therapy is additionally much cheaper than individual therapy in most cases. In some cases, it is even free. However, this does not mean that individual therapy is not accessible. The most successful substance abuse treatment centers combine a combination of both individual and group therapy sessions throughout the day.
There are many issues that may make a recovering addict feel as though he or she is unable to attend public meetings or group therapy sessions. Recovering addicts may feel unable to share their story or even to listen to the problems and struggles of others. Even those who attended group therapy during treatment may not want to continue group therapy in after care for various reasons. For instance, the recovering addict may be trying to handle caring for a child that was recently returned to them or going back to school. While such real life issues can make it difficult to attend group therapy sessions in aftercare, recovering addicts can try other methods to not only bring the group therapy to them, but also to make sure they never feel alone. Group members can even try calling a fellow recovering addict or group member every day they miss a group session. One of the most valuable aspects of group therapy is that it fosters a desire to support others and a willingness to receive that encouragement from others.
Group therapy works best when members are willing to share and listen to one another’s stories and problems with coping. They can help members hold themselves accountable and form new relationships and support systems that they may not have had when they were using. The point of substance abuse group therapy is to help recovering addicts empower each other through developing common lifestyle changes and new life skills for coping. Substance abuse group therapy has been shown to be one of the most effective ways to manage substance abuse both in addiction rehab and in aftercare.