Therapeutic Groups in Rehab Treatment

The two most prominent therapy groups applicable to rehabilitation treatment are:

Dynamic Group Therapy

During rehabilitation treatment for behaviour and substance use disorders, part of the therapy usually incorporates dynamic group therapy. In dynamic group therapy, a group of patients with similar disorders, meet and discuss common issues under the guidance of a qualified therapist. Groups usually consist of roughly four to 12 patients and can be attended on an out-patient basis, or during treatment in a residential rehabilitation centre.

Family Group Therapy

In addition to dynamic group therapy sessions, family group meetings are also offered by rehabilitation centres. Substance and behaviour disorders affect more than just the afflicted person. Relatives and loved ones are often seriously compromised and also require healing. These meetings are restricted to the afflicted person, their family members and a qualified therapist.

Types of Group Therapy Techniques

Group therapy techniques are sometimes based on elements of the so-called “12-steps” programs. More modern techniques are based on cognitive treatment techniques and, in some cases, the techniques may be based on combinations of the two. The “12-steps” techniques are older approaches and are mostly based on the assumption that a universal set of rules apply to all people. Cognitive methods are more modern and offer greater variety and flexibility.

Group Therapy is Supplemental

Group therapy sessions differ from one-on-one therapy sessions, where a single patient interacts with a therapist, in the absence of other people. Each offers specific benefits and functions and they compliment each other, so both are required for fulfilling all the needs of therapy.

The Value of Group Therapy

The main benefits of group therapy include:

  • Group cohesiveness prevents feelings of isolation.
  • Creates awareness that your condition is not unique.
  • Offers safety from prejudice and biased judgment.
  • You can unburden without the restraint normally felt.
  • Allows sharing of knowledge about your problems.
  • You benefit from the combined wisdom in a group.
  • Reduces stress, anxiety and guilt during treatment.
  • The commitment of others can motivate you.
  • You can get suggestions to correct your flawed ideas.
  • Perceptions are challenged, discussed and changed.
  • You can learn practical survival skills from peers.
  • It restores interpersonal trust and bonding skills.
  • You can develop socialisation skills for normal life.
  • The sense of belonging eases re-entry into society.

Additional Elements of Family Group Therapy

In family group therapy, relatives are assisted with the additional principles that include the following:

  • Educating loved ones about the disorder.
  • Rectifying and stabilising family dynamics.
  • Healing the wounds of individual family members.
  • Preparing loved ones for the long-term recovery period.

Group Therapy and Support Groups

Group therapy differs from mutual-support groups. Mutual-support groups in local communities do not offer formal (or professional) psychotherapy as part of their activities, whilst dynamic group therapy includes the latter as a primary benefit. Mutual-support groups are open to any person with a need for change, while group therapy sessions are restricted to patients and loved ones undergoing formal treatment.