Most people look at rehab as a place to get clean, sober, and back on track. While that’s true, there is far more to addiction treatment than hitting the reset button. Inpatient treatment, intensive outpatient treatment (IOP), and different types of group therapy options all share a common goal: helping you function in the real world. Getting clean and sober is the first step. Learning how to live again without substances is where the real work begins. A great way to help combat addiction’s reigns is through group programs. These programs come in all shapes and sizes, but if you’re struggling or need support, there’s absolutely a group program out there for you.
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Types of Group Programs
Before we talk about why group programs work, let’s talk about the different types of programs to get a better idea of each environment and its purpose.
While every inpatient/residential program will have its own mission and structure, one thing they have in common is a residential stay at the facility for a specific period of time. These long-stay facilities offer beds/dorms and become a 24-hour support system for the individuals attending. The group eats together, learns together, and sleeps under the same roof, promoting healing and community support every step of the way.
Intensive Outpatient (IOP)
IOP is meant to supplement extra time in a person’s life to get them clean, sober and back on track. These programs are designed to be transitional, allowing those enrolled to continue working towards their recovery goals while also tending to responsibilities like school, work, and family. Typically, IOP settings offer a mixture of individual and group therapy, with the goal of educating their clients on resources like coping mechanisms, the psychology of addiction, and boundary setting. Schedules can be anything from 9-3 pm, 10-5 pm, or even 4-10 pm. Each facility is different and will work to cater to your needs.
Group therapy involves consistent meetings with a group of individuals and learning together how to work through common issues. The goal of group therapy is to work on topics such as addiction education, life skills, and social skills to help you maintain better relationships and stay clean and sober long-term. Most groups are talk-based with one leader, but they don’t have to be. There are art therapy classes and music therapy classes that work to heal the participants while also helping them process their addiction and mental health issues.
- Support Groups: Support groups such as AA/NA offer daily meetings where anyone can attend. The goal of these meetings is to build a sober community where people can share their stories, build healthy relationships, and come together to acknowledge growth and express gratitude. Support groups don’t focus on skills. Rather, they aim to offer additional support to anyone, regardless of how long you’ve been sober.
The goal of these programs is to build a sense of community, eliminating feelings of isolation while simultaneously fostering health and wellness through positive coping mechanisms. Beating addiction doesn’t have to be done alone. If you’ve been struggling for some time, a group program might be just what you need.
5 Reasons Group Programs Work
So, why should you jump on board the group therapy train? Here are five reasons why group programs are effective and worth trying:
1. Fostering Effective Communication
An integral part of group therapy is fostering communication skills. If you weren’t taught how to share your feelings and make compromises at a young age, chances are that you probably didn’t pick up those skills along the way into adulthood. Working as a group can give you real-life opportunities to learn effective tactics that will help you share your story and work through conflict safely in the future. If you can communicate your needs, it means that you have created a deep understanding of yourself and the world around you.
2. Creating Safe Spaces
Rehab programs offer a simulated version of real-life experiences that can help you work through our troubles in a safe space. These safe spaces allow for growth and healing without judgment or harsh consequences, such as job loss. Group settings can be a respite from a world that is scary, difficult, and fear-inducing. The group is a place to share your troubles and work with others towards bettering yourself. In doing so, you can grow in your recovery without fear, shame or embarrassment to hold you back.
3. Creating Self-Awareness
While we want to be cognizant of trauma bonding, connecting with others through group therapy can be deeply impactful when it comes to healing. Knowing that you are not alone in your struggles can empower you to work through difficult memories and experiences. Talking things out as a group can create self-awareness for yourself and others by sharing similarities, differences, and acknowledging the modeling of positive and negative behaviors.
4. Hearing Other Narratives
Listening to the stories of other people just like you can help you feel less isolated and remind you that you’re not alone in your fight against addiction. You may not realize how far down the rabbit hole you really are until you begin to hear the stories of others.
5. Long-Standing Proof
Group programs have been around for a long time. For example, AA is about 85 years old, if not more, and it continues to grow. From that beautiful seed grew NA, teen programs, and other similar models to help build a community for those looking to change their lives. While everyone is different and the way in which we all heal will vary, group therapy is a proven common denominator that is here to stay.
Call Admissions to Learn More
Renewal Lodge offers an array of group programs and residential options that can help you find a sense of community and inner control. Reach out today to learn about our treatment options, at 866-287-2877.