Group therapy is defined as one or more therapists communicating with a group of people about their substance abuse problems or mental health issues. These sessions usually occur twice weekly for about 1-2 hours and can consist of more than 12 people at a time. The goal of group therapy is to help others struggling with the same or similar issues to work together to achieve the common end goal of recovery.

Keeping problems inside is one of the reasons why some individuals feel that recovery is impossible or not necessary. People benefit and learn more about themselves and their abilities from talking to others. The self-forms from the way others define the self and therefore depends on social interactions to function. A drug user may not realize they need help until someone else mentions to them that they have a drug problem that is affecting their life. It is effortless to fall into tunnel vision, which can prevent an individual who needs help, from seeking help.

While group therapy may not seem like much from the outsider perspective, reports have shown that group members are often surprised at how beneficial group therapy was for them. Talking things out with others who are struggling with similar issues helps the individual realize that they are not the only ones experiencing hardships on their journey to recovery. People gain a kind of trust and natural feeling of support from relating their problems to the problems of other individuals which lets each person know that if this person got through it and survived, so can I.

Not only do these groups bring about support, but they also come with trained psychologists that understand the workings of the human mind and have skills explicitly designed for drug addiction treatment. These psychologists serve as guiding forces throughout the group discussions as they initiate conversation amongst members with specific topics and questions. Nothing can happen without the initiation of the communication. Psychologists will often bring up research or experiments about things like drug addiction to let members know that there are evidence-based ways to overcome addiction. Often, they will also provide techniques to avoid cravings and other ordeals that addicts face.

The Psychology of Group Therapy

Knowing that one is not alone has been shown to increase self-esteem and confidence in one’s self, which are both necessary for an individual to firmly believe that they can accomplish a goal. Sharing experiences tends to reduce stress, guilt, and pain amongst those in conversation. Group therapy works by having members go through 6 stages:

  1. Pre-contemplation
  2. Contemplation
  3. Preparation
  4. Action
  5. Maintenance
  6. Recurrence

Pre-contemplation is the stage of the indecisiveness of whether to attend group therapy and contemplation is when the therapist in the group session suggests that the members should consider decreasing or ceasing their drug use. Preparation involves understanding the adverse effects of drug use and the positive outcomes of successfully quitting the drug. An action is when the individual chooses a strategy to stop their drug use, and maintenance is the practice of abstinence from the drug. Recurrence is when the individual relapses and returns to a prior stage.

Asana Recovery offers group therapy treatment for drug addiction with a supportive and calming environment of trained professionals. They understand the real struggles of addiction and that no one should have to battle dependency alone. Contact (949) 438-4504 to learn more about their treatment programs.