Group therapy can be daunting at first, especially if the end of your addiction led to long periods of isolation and social phobia. It is completely understandable that you will feel some trepidation around sharing your experiences and thoughts with others. After all, addiction lends to secrets, deceit and denial of the truth.
“I initially felt very anxious about group therapy, but the Counsellor was very understanding and gently encouraged me to open up. My peers were amazingly supportive and I soon realised I was no longer alone in my suffering.”
Primrose Lodge use a group therapy environment to deliver various proven models of addiction treatment. Held within a comfortable and well ventilatedroom, patients have complete privacy away from other areas of the clinic. The session usually lasts one hour and encourages complete honesty amongst peers. It fosters the understanding that honesty is an important foundation in recovery.
Many addicts and alcoholics live a life built on lies. Admitting and facing the truth is too painful and most would not know where to start. Feelings of shame and guilt can be overwhelming and this can lead to more drinking or using. Primrose Lodge firmly believe in the power of a group therapy environment. Each individual is encouraged to lay aside his or her fears and share openly in a non-judgemental and compassionate environment. Led by a qualified Counsellor or Therapist, group therapy sessions are carefully constructed to provide each individual the time and space to benefit from the treatment modality being delivered. As well as finding a common ground with their peers, they will also find that their feedback and experiences are valued.
Why Group Therapy Works
As addiction progresses and the individual becomes more and more consumed by the substance or behaviour, shame, guilt and depression often lead to complete isolation. It may well be that the only human contact they have on a daily basis is with their dealer or the local off-licence staff.
The days of enjoyment and socialising are long gone and just a distant memory. An addict’s world becomes incredibly small as they are caught in a vicious cycle of living to use and using to live. It is important that the isolation is broken, as an addict alone with their own thoughts is rarely a good thing.
Group Therapy works by empowering the individual to overcome the urge to isolate. Building a positive network of recovery friends who understand and are supportive is very important. Patients quickly come to realise the benefits of group therapy and become far more open to the treatment process. On that basis, Counsellors are able to make progress in tackling the issues that are underlying their addiction.
Primrose Lodge Counsellors and Therapists use a person centred approach to treatment. Each patient is treated as an individual and each treatment tailored accordingly to offer maximum effect. Clients are asked to share their experiences and feelings for their own benefit and in order to help their peers; they are often relieved to find that their peers have experienced something similar or felt the same way.
What Is Group Therapy Used For?
Group therapy is incredibly flexible and allows for a number of proven addiction therapies to be delivered by an experienced and qualified therapist. This includes therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), Process group, Psychotherapy, Goals group, 12 Step Therapy, Music and Meditation.
Group therapy is used as a basis for the individual discovering and revealing their authentic self, with the support and encouragement from their peers and a qualified Counsellor. Encouraged to give feedback to their peers also, they find that helping others improves their self esteem and shows them that they can be of use to others in a constructive and caring way.
Benefits of Group Therapy
The benefits of group therapy have been realised for many years in the field of addiction treatment. It is also extremely helpful in treating those with co-occurring illnesses such as Depression and Anxiety Disorder. Peer input can be extremely powerful, as a number of different views can assist the patient in seeing the truth and in accepting responsibility for their problems. With the help of the Counsellor or therapist and other peers, an effective solution can be found to problems. It is common for peers to continue to support each other outside of the group environment once having formed a bond during the sessions. Other benefits of Group therapy include:
- Breaks down barriers and assists in forming a positive bond with their peers
- Provides the individual with a sense of trust and unity within the group
- Challenges and helps to change negative and untrue beliefs and thoughts
- Inspires the individual to make positive changes as they witness their peers getting well.
- Affirms that communicating with others is a very positive thing in recovery
- Improves understanding and empathy for others and limits self pity
- Assists the individual in finding compassion for others and learn ways of supporting them
- Provides an opportunity to identify with and learn from others who suffer from the same condition
- Builds self-worth as their input becomes valued by their peers
- Breaks the destructive pattern of isolation and suppressing thoughts and feelings
- Fosters the belief that being vulnerable in front of others and exposing emotions is not a bad thing
- Helps the patient to realise that they are not alone any more in their suffering
“I found group therapy very insightful and felt safe sharing in the group. There were often tears but also laughter and unity. It helped me to bond with the other patients and stop trying to do everything on my own”
Treating Addiction with Group Therapy
Primrose Lodge use a number of cutting edge addiction treatment therapies that are delivered within a group environment. A Counsellor or qualified therapist will be present throughout to conduct the session and ensure that it remains a safe and non-threatening place for all that attend. Group therapy is used in addition to individual therapies and compliments a person centred treatment programme.
Group therapy has been proven to be highly effective in treating addiction and co occurring illnesses. It is a useful medium to deliver a number of different therapeutic modalities.
Primrose Lodge addiction and mood disorder treatment programme is very intensive and comprehensive. We deliver some of the following powerful treatment methodologies within a group setting for maximum effectiveness
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a talking therapy that has been around for many years. Originally its effectiveness was proven in treating mood disorders such as depression and anxiety, but in more recent years it has been found to be highly effective in the treatment of addiction. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a type of Psychotherapy and is therefore only delivered by qualified Counsellors and Psychotherapists at Primrose Lodge. The therapy is suggestive, helping the patient to identify their own incorrect thinking and finding their own solutions. By conducting this therapy in a group setting, peers are able to share experiences and help each other to identify unhelpful and destructive thought patterns and behaviours. The Counsellor keeps a tight reign on the direction of session throughout, ensuring it stays focused, safe and productive.
Dialectical Behavioural Therapy
Dialectical behavioural therapy is a type of cognitive therapy that has been developed to treat individuals that experience emotions very intensely. It is particularly effective in treating conditions such as Borderline Personality Disorder, Anxiety, Emotional Binge Eating and Co-dependency. Most individuals that suffer from addiction also experience very intense emotions, which at times can feel overwhelming. Alcohol and drugs are used to suppress or block emotions. In recovery it is vital that the individual find healthier coping mechanisms; dialectical behavioural therapy provides the tools to enable them to do this. By finding acceptance of who they are as a person, they are able to find compassion for themselves and start to practise the principles of self-love. Dialectical therapy works in one to ones and Group therapy, where peers can support and affirm each other. Primrose Lodge only use Counsellors who are qualified in this therapy to deliver the treatment.
Interpersonal Process Group
Process groups are held every morning at Primrose Lodge and led by one or more Counsellors depending on the size of the group. Process group provides each individual with the space to identify and talk about the emotions and thoughts that they are experiencing. Often patients will have touched on issues, brought up from the previous day’s therapy that they need assistance in processing. The Counsellor will use a number of different therapeutic techniques to help the individual to explore and process their thoughts and feelings. By delivering this group within a group therapy setting, peers are able to identify with and support each other.
Psycho-educational groups assist in educating patients on the nature of their illness. By arming them with the facts, they are then in a position to make informed decisions that will better service their recovery. Patients are encouraged to look at their own experiences and consider the consequences of their actions, so each can find their own truth around their behaviours. Group therapy assists in this process as experiences are shared relative to the group being held.
Examples of Psycho-education groups delivered at Primrose Lodge are: relapse prevention, 12 step education, life skills, mind, body and spirit workshops, dealing with emotions and substance misuse and addiction.
Conducted within a group setting and led by a therapist, Goals group is held on a weekly basis. Goals group is aimed at motivating each patient with a personal task that is related to his or her thoughts and behaviours. The peers and Counsellor present agree each individual’s goal; it is measurable, specific, realistic and achievable. A patient’s goal is determined from the observations of Counsellors and peers around the individual’s behaviours and progress. Once the goal has been set by others and agreed by the patient, peers and our clinical team will do all they can to assist in achieving it.
If you have any questions relating to our group therapy sessions or treatment programme, please call us and speak to a member of our clinical team who will be happy to help
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