Individuals struggling with opioid addiction battle psychological, physical, emotional, and behavioral challenges. Treatment centers designed to help individuals overcome these issues have to be effective and guide patients towards addressing each issue as it pertains to their addictions. Through therapeutic interventions, such as group therapy, these treatment goals can be achieved.
What is the Purpose of Group Therapy for Opioid Abuse?
Group therapy, a popular form of therapy, brings together individuals to participate in sessions. Sessions that have only a small group of participants generally only have one counselor. However, if a group therapy session has many participants, there will be more than one counselor to help lead the session.
Similar to individual therapy, group therapy works by helping individuals acknowledge and actively work through behavioral and emotional issues that have developed in response to an opioid addiction. An opioid addiction almost never comes to fruition without a number of underlying and/or external causes, such as ongoing stress or a history of trauma, abuse, mood disorders, self-esteem issues, or such turmoil. Through group therapy, patients are given a safe space to discuss these issues and move past them with support and encouragement from others.
Objectives of Group Therapy for Opioid Abuse
Group therapy is most effective when counselors are able to guide participants to share their emotions, insights, thoughts, and experiences. Some of the primary objectives of a group therapy session include:
- Universality – Aiding in the alleviation of feelings of isolation by sharing in experiences with other group members
- Self-understanding – Obtaining insight into one’s own problems pertaining to opioid addiction through listening to other patients talk about their successes and challenges in recovery
- Interpersonal learning – Learning from others’ personal journeys, all while sharing one’s own thoughts and feelings
- Altruism – Understanding the benefits of helping others to improve upon their own lives
- Hope – Seeing how others in similar situations have overcome challenges that one might possibly be experiencing
- Information – Obtaining as much information about addiction as a disease and recovery itself
- Imitative behavior – Acquiring new skills from watching others (such as counselors and other participants) and their positive behaviors
- Cohesiveness – Gaining a sense of belonging and validation from peers
- Catharsis – Being alleviated from emotions, such as shame and embarrassment, by sharing challenging experiences
At Maryland Comprehensive Treatment Centers, we recognize the value that group therapy has when included as a part of a medication assisted treatment program. Through the safe and welcoming environment created in group therapy sessions, both counselors and patients can work together to process challenges, celebrate successes, and obtain a strong perspective that allows understanding. Group therapy is an excellent source for receiving information, therapeutic insights, and immense support that can help encourage a patient to continue on his or her path towards recovery.
There is no magic wand that can make an opioid addiction and the issues associated with it go away. It does not vanish via a pill or a therapy session alone. However, when these means are combined with the dedication to recover, patients can achieve lasting results. Programs that provide this comprehensive approach are effective in helping bring about positive change in patients so they can begin living happy, healthy lives. Group therapy is most definitely a key element in an effective medication assisted treatment program.
If you or someone you love is in need of group therapy and the other crucial components of a medication assisted treatment program, reach out to us to get started today.