Group Therapy

Addiction is a disease of extreme loneliness and isolation. Those who are suffering at the hands of a substance abuse disorder eventually push everyone who is close to them away, leaving them to completely fend for themselves (which typically does not bode well). This is a large part of the reason why group therapy is so clinically valuable when it comes to long-term addiction recovery. Not only does group therapy help individual clients foster a deep and meaningful sense of connection, but it allows them to freely and honestly discuss any issues that may arise in a safe and non-judgemental environment. At Pinetree Recovery Center, group therapy sessions are a main component of our overall recovery process.

Fostering a Sense of Connection

An article published by Princeton Health titled, “Facilitating Connections in Group Therapy,” it is explained that while individuals who participate in group therapy might be from differing backgrounds and have had different experience with active addiction, it is up to the therapist to discover a common thread that will allow group members to listen to and empathize with another. The main goal of the therapist is to foster a sense of connection; a connection that all group members undeniably missed while they were active in their addictions. At Pinetree Recovery Center, we have numerous experienced group therapists on staff, who work with clients to address a wide range of pertinent, recovery-related topics and work through common issues in a safe and supportive setting.

Benefits of Group Therapy

There are numerous benefits to group therapy in an addiction treatment setting. The US National Library of Medicine published an article titled, “Groups and Substance Abuse Treatment,” that explores what a powerful tool group therapy is in the treatment of substance abuse. The article notes that while one-on-one therapy is extremely beneficial as well, group therapy can sometimes have even more of an impact on clients.

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The main benefits of group therapy include:

  • Improved communications skills: Clients are able to further understand how to communicate in a healthy and effective manner. They are able to openly discuss any problems they might face in early recovery while helping one another work through any issues that may arise. If there is conflict at the facility, clients will have the opportunity to calmly work through the conflict in a safe and supported environment, one that is mediated by an experienced professional. Clients will also gain into how they are perceived by others – and how they perceive themselves.
  • Peer-to-peer support: Clients learn how to graciously accept feedback from their peers, as they learn to offer insight and constructive criticism of their own. They also learn how to express themselves in calm and constructive ways, where they may have previously resorted to defensiveness or aggression.
  • The development of crucial recovery skills: In group therapy, clients will discuss the ins and outs of early recovery. The experiential group therapy sessions facilitated by therapists at Pinetree Recovery Center seek to help clients develop healthy coping mechanisms and relapse prevention skills. One of the ultimate goals of group therapy is to help equip clients with the essential tools they need to effectively manage relapse triggers and thrive in a more independent, post-treatment environment.
  • Understanding connection: Many individuals who are new to recovery feel as if they are alone in their struggles; as if no one else can relate. Group therapy allows clients to understand on a deep and sincere level that there are others who have been through something very similar to what they have been through; others who can relate and connect on a unique and important level.

Group therapy is a very versatile and immensely beneficial treatment modality. At Pine Tree Recovery Center we utilize numerous types of group therapy, including:

  • Gender-specific group therapy sessions
  • Support groups
  • Group therapy sessions that revolve around the disease model of addiction and addiction education
  • Life skills training
  • The instillation of relapse prevention skills
  • Experiential group therapy

Gender-Specific Group Therapy

When it comes to opening up emotionally in front of other people, those who have been suffering at the hands of an active addiction – and who have likely lost trust in other people (and in themselves) – are likely to have a difficult time. Opening up and being thoroughly honest about personal issues can be exceedingly intimidating to those who have not put in trust in other people for an extended period of time.

As human beings, we are biologically more inclined to trust people who are similar to us. This might mean people who come from the same background as us, people who have been through similar life experiences or, more significantly, members of the same sex. Gender-specific addiction treatment and male-specific or female-specific group therapy is important for numerous reasons. Above all else, members of the same gender will be able to relate on a deep level, seeing as they have undeniably gone through similar experiences and present with similar issues. They also might feel more comfortable discussing topics that would be difficult to discuss in a mixed-gender group.

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Many challenges that people undergo in active addiction and in early recovery are specific to one gender or the other. For example, a woman who has undergone sexual abuse at the hands of a member of the opposite sex will undeniably feel more comfortable opening up in a room full of women. A man whose addiction has affected his relationship with his family might feel more comfortable opening up about his familial distress in a room full of men.

Support Groups

At Pinetree Recovery Center, we believe that there is strength in community, and that developing meaningful bonds with others is crucial to long-term sobriety. We offer regular support groups in which our clients can safely discuss their personal struggles and triumphs as well as the challenges that go hand-in-hand with early addiction recovery. We thoroughly introduce our clients to outside support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, which play a vital role in post-treatment recovery. Our group therapists actively encourage clients to interact with one another in healthy and productive ways, encouraging constructive feedback, mutual support and the continuous development of healthy communication skills.

Addiction Education

In order for a client to fully embrace recovery, he or she must thoroughly understand addiction. There are numerous psychological factors that play a role in addiction, as well as many personal factors, such as underlying mental health disorders and unresolved trauma. We work to thoroughly educate our clients on the disease model of addiction, providing them with a comprehensive overview along with an individualized approach to addiction education.

Life Skills and Relapse Prevention

The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine published a study titled, “Relapse Prevention and the Five Rules of Recovery,” which explores the importance of developing viable defenses against relapse in an individual and group therapy environment. Many individuals who have struggled with substance abuse are used to turning to drugs and alcohol when they feel emotionally distressed or otherwise uncomfortable. We teach our clients to work through unpleasant emotions in a healthy and productive way.

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Group Therapy

We provide clients with numerous opportunities to participate in experiential therapy, where we will place them in real life situations and allow them to apply the coping mechanisms they have been developing in treatment. Experiential group therapy allows clients to support one another and foster a sense of community while overcoming everyday challenges.

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Our attention to individualized care and therapy programs can be the difference between a lifetime of challenges or a full recovery. Take the first step toward a better, more fulfilling future. Speak with one of our Treatments Advisors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling (888) 693-1751.