What is the Purpose of Group Therapy for Opioid Abuse?
The complexity of addiction extends beyond a simple cure.
Individuals struggling with the emotional, physical, social, and mental components of addiction must obtain treatment that addresses each issue in order for long-term recovery to be achieved and sustained. One extremely beneficial intervention utilized within treatment is group therapy.
Group therapy is a therapeutic intervention that includes multiple patients within a singular therapeutic session. Typically, group therapy sessions involve one counselor working simultaneously with a small group of patients, although some group therapy sessions use multiple counselors as well. Group therapy aims to pinpoint and deal with the social and emotional influence that may have aided in the abuse of opioids in the first place. Numerous external influences, such as stress, trauma and abuse, self-esteem issues, and other types of emotional turmoil, can lead to many individuals resorting to the use of opioids as a way to self-medicate. Group therapy provides patients with a safe environment in which to discuss their progress towards recovery.
Objectives of Group Therapy for Opioid Abuse
Group therapy is successful due to both the counselors leading the sessions, as well as the patients who are participating. The following are the primary goals and principals of group therapy:
- Universality– Assisting in easing the feelings of segregation by emphasizing the common feelings and experiences between members of the group.
- Self-understanding– Obtaining a deeper insight into one’s own problems by listening to other group members discuss their progression and setbacks throughout treatment.
- Interpersonal learning– Learning from the opinions and experiences of others in the group, while being able to openly communicate one’s own feelings and experiences.
- Altruism– Understanding the value of aiding in the improvement of the lives of others.
- Hope– Recognizing that other group members have overcome difficulties that one may currently be going through.
- Information– Understanding more about addiction as a disease, as well as the recovery process.
- Imitative behavior – Acquiring new techniques and skills by observing the positive behaviors of the counselor, as well as other members in the group.
- Cohesiveness– Feeling a sense of fitting in and validation by sharing experiences and feelings with other group members.
- Catharsis– Experiencing a sense of relief from embarrassment or other emotional anguish by publicly communicating one’s struggles.
West Virginia Comprehensive Treatment Centers understand the important role that group therapy plays in the recovery of opioid addiction. By providing patients with a safe environment in which to come together with highly trained counselors, as well as others who understand the struggles associated with addiction, patients are given the opportunity to gain support and encouragement from a network of individuals.
If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to opioids and would benefit from group therapy as part of the comprehensive treatment available at West Virginia Comprehensive Treatment Centers, please contact us today.