The Role of Group Therapy in Addiction Treatment

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Addiction is known to be a progressive and complex disease, affecting every facet of an individual’s life. When an individual is ready to get sober and recover from the causes and effects of their addiction, it is important to attend professional substance abuse treatment. During drug and alcohol rehab in New Jersey, patients are able to receive physical and psychological care as well as support from staff and peers. To promote treatment for each client and their unique needs, addiction treatment programs offer a variety of different types of therapy including group therapy.

Typically, one of the most important aspects of addiction treatment is participation in group therapy. Group counseling sessions allow patients to relate and connect with other individuals who have experienced and understand what it’s like to struggle with addiction. In addition, group therapy teaches patients how to be vulnerable, process their emotions effectively, and build intimate, mutually-supportive friendships.

What is Group Therapy?

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Group therapy is a method of therapy that follows a traditional talk therapy approach. However, instead of a one-on-one, patient-to-therapist counseling session, multiple clients will participate while being guided by one therapist. Therapy groups provide patients with a safe space to process their emotions and gain support from peers through encouragement, accountability, and assistance. Participants are able to relate to one another, while also receiving various insights and perspectives on the current or past issues they are processing. Whatever substance a patient was addicted to, group counseling plays a fundamental role in addiction recovery. Together, patients navigate the trials and tribulations of recovering from drug or alcohol addiction.

There are two main types of group therapy. The most common form of group counseling is most likely what people imagine when thinking about group counseling. This type of group counseling is hosted by a psychotherapist who has a specific treatment plan in mind. Additionally, all members of the therapy group are usually at the same level of treatment as one another. However, some addiction treatment facilities allow patients of all levels of recovery to participate in the same therapy groups. This allows patients to see the entire treatment process at work, as well as provides new patients to learn from other clients who have already passed their level of treatment.

On the other hand, there is a form of group therapy that is peer-led. These groups are typically more casual than therapist-led sessions. During peer-led group therapy, participants in different stages of recovery will share their experience, strength, and hope with one another. Participation and leadership of these groups are voluntary, however, both make a significant and positive difference in an individual’s recovery.

Major Benefits of Group Therapy in Addiction Treatment

Both forms of therapy are beneficial and important to the addiction recovery process. However, the types of therapy groups differ in the benefits they provide. For example, groups led by licensed therapists provide patients with structure, accountability, organization, and direction. Also, professional therapists are able to focus on managing each patient’s mental health concerns and assist them in developing personal recovery plans.

On the other hand, peer-led group counseling sessions offer participants more flexible and accessible scheduling. Also, this form of group therapy may last for years after treatment and often result in the formulation of life-long friendships. Additional benefits of group therapy in New Jersey may include the following.

Connecting with Others in a Safe Environment

Group therapy instills the idea that patients do not need to be alone during their recovery. This form of therapy offers patients with personal connections that provide a network of advice, assistance, and new skills. Also, clients in therapy groups know they will not be judged for whatever issues they are going through and would like to discuss. In group counseling, all members are required to be respectful and non-judgmental, or else they will be redirected by the facilitator.

Learning New Coping Skills to Replace Drugs and Alcohol

During group therapy, patients will discuss their triggers and how they deal with them. Oftentimes, this allows patients to learn new coping strategies for relapse triggers from their peers or the facilitating therapist. When patients hear their peers open up, they are able to learn from another person who has been through the same issues, and who may have insights about the progression of recovery.

Accountability that Motivates Patients to Remain Sober

Therapy groups give patients a sense of accountability that they may have been lacking in the past. When patients are expected to attend group therapy on a consistent basis, they are more likely to keep themselves, and each other, accountable. Additionally, individuals in group therapy often discuss triggers. As a result, patients get to learn how other members keep themselves accountable and prevent relapse from occurring, causing them to achieve the same level of self-awareness and self-accountability.

Get Started With Group Therapy at an Addiction Treatment Center in New Jersey Today!

New Jersey Interventions provides individuals in need with the resources necessary to find reputable addiction treatment programs that include individual counseling and group therapy. If you or a loved one suffer from the effects of substance abuse, it is vital that you begin professional treatment as soon as possible. Contact us today for more information on group therapy, addiction treatment, and how to find a facility or program near you.

Medically Reviewed: September 29, 2020

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

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