If you’ve looked into rehab or counselling, you may have come across the idea of group therapy. It’s a common technique that’s used in rehab centres and treatment clinics all over the world, and here we explore exactly what it is and why it’s so effective.
What is Group Therapy?
As the name suggests, group therapy is a type of psychological therapy where a group of people come together alongside a therapist or counsellor. The alternative is a one on one CBT session, where individuals work solely with a trained counsellor or therapist.
There isn’t an exact number of people required for it to be called group therapy but usually it takes place with smaller groups rather than lots of people. There are lots of benefits of group therapy. Namely, that it creates a supportive network and allows individuals to meet others who are on the same journey as them.
Some people are concerned that it won’t work for them but research suggests group therapy is a very effective treatment for both addiction and mental health.
This is why many rehab centres recommend trying group therapy for at least one session during your treatment programme.
What to Expect During Group Sessions in Rehab
Group therapy typically involves up to 12 people at different stages of their recovery journey and usually each with their own concerns. For example, not everyone in the group will be struggling with the same addiction.
The session will be led by a trained professional who will explain the outline of the meeting. Everyone will be given a chance to introduce themselves and explain why they’re there.
There might be a theme or topic for the session and a therapist will usually encourage individuals to talk about their own experiences and progress, or answer the questions. You don’t have to speak if you don’t feel comfortable with doing so, but remember those who do are likely to get more out of the meeting.
Group therapy doesn’t just focus on talking. Some meetings may include group activities to help with problem-solving, trust-building and skill development. Again, you don’t have to take part in these group activities if you don’t want to. Simply sit back and watch, and only get involved when you feel ready to.
Just like one to one sessions, group therapy sessions are confidential. Those who attend have to agree not to relay any information externally, you may even be required to sign a form to confirm your understanding of this. The environment is also non-judgemental and supportive so, you’ll be encouraged to share your views and suggestions to members in the group without negativity, and in a helpful way.
How Does Group Therapy Work?
Group therapy sessions are determined by the therapist leading it but typically focus on one of two therapy types:
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
This type of therapy focuses on helping individuals to identify their problems, as well as negative thoughts and behaviours. In group sessions, both the therapist and other individuals in the group will help the patient to understand their unhelpful thinking habits, challenging their beliefs and highlighting alternative ways of thinking.
Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)
This type of therapy is split up into different sessions where patients learn four skills – distress management, emotional control, mindfulness and relating to others. Again, group therapy sessions allow individuals to learn from each other, highlighting potential unhelpful thinking patterns and behaviours and suggesting alternative strategies.
Creative sessions, holistic therapies and skill building activities are also commonly used in group sessions to help people to express their feelings.
Unlike one on one sessions, group therapy offers an added level of support and allows individuals to learn from a professional as well as shared experiences from others in their situation. Group therapy sessions also allow individuals to understand themselves and their behaviour in a compassionate environment, without judgement or prejudice.
As well as this, group therapy encourages social interaction, allows patients to model new healthy behaviours and the recognisable and relatable group set up can impart a sense of safety. This can all have a positive and direct impact on the treatment of addiction and research shows that group therapy is just as effective as one to one therapy.
Why is Therapy Important in Rehab?
Every rehab centre is different but the aim is always the same: to treat the physical addiction and its symptoms but to treat psychological effects and triggers. While a detox is essential for this, the right therapy is necessary too. Therapy, both group and one to one sessions, is essential for helping individuals to identify unhealthy behaviour and thinking.
Group sessions provide the opportunity for positive comparison and help people to see their behaviour more clearly and physically show you that you’re not alone.
Group therapy can also provide individuals with stronger feedback as you’re not just hearing the views of a professional but also other people who are in the same position. It’s a great way to learn new coping methods so you can stay resilient in the outside world.
That’s not the only benefit of group therapy though as it’s also a great way to receive crucial support and build connections with others. Ultimately, group therapy will help you to feel less isolated, and more supported, and it can be the difference between you staying on the right track or not in your recovery journey.
Start Treatment Therapies at Rehab Today
At Action Rehab, our advisory service can help you to access the support and help you need at a private rehab facility dedicated to drug addiction and alcohol addiction treatment. Whether you’re concerned about your own substance abuse or mental health or want some advice about a loved one, our team will listen to your concerns, answer any questions and recommend an addiction therapy centre to suit.
We work with some of the UK’s leading private alcohol rehab and drug rehab centres to help individuals to get their life back on track. What’s more, you only have to pick up the phone to take the first step. So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch with our friendly team today and start living a life away from addiction.
Get in touch today to find out more about how you could benefit from group therapy within, and after, rehab.Contact Us