Group Therapy In Mental Health & Substance Use Treatment
In group therapy, a mental health professional leads a group of people with mental health conditions or substance use disorders as they help each other navigate recovery. At Ohio Recovery Center, group therapy is an integral part of each patient’s treatment plan.
In group therapy at Ohio Recovery Center (ORC), you learn how to manage your condition alongside people with similar experiences. By providing support and encouragement, group members help each other succeed in recovery.
What Is Group Therapy?
Group therapy is a type of therapy in which one or more mental health professionals treat multiple patients at once. In general, group sizes range between 6 and 12 people, though there are also smaller and larger groups.
At ORC, our groups meet daily for between 60 and 90 minutes. In each session, a group therapist or clinician leads group discussions related to mental health recovery.
There are group therapy sessions for a variety of mental disorders, including:
- major depressive disorder (also called depression)
- anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder
- obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- bipolar disorder
- borderline personality disorder (BPD)
- attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- substance use disorder (drug addiction)
Some treatment centers, including ORC, also offer special group therapy sessions for certain groups, such as adolescents, LGBT+ people, veterans, and first responders.
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Types Of Group Therapy At ORC
All group therapy sessions at ORC focus on helping people strengthen their mental health. However, the specific topics and strategies discussed depend on the type of group you attend. Our most common types include:
In a psychoeducational group, you learn about your condition alongside other people who live with it.
The therapist may cover a variety of topics related to the condition, including causes, symptoms, and coping strategies. They may also discuss the consequences of leaving your condition untreated. In general, the more you learn about your condition, the easier it is to manage.
Skills Development Groups
In a skills development group, you learn important skills that will help you succeed in recovery and in your daily life. The therapist may discuss a number of different skills depending on the group’s needs. The most commonly discussed skills include:
- interpersonal skills (also known as social skills)
- mindfulness (the ability to stay grounded in the present moment)
- job-seeking skills
- financial literacy
- anger management skills
Cognitive Behavioral Groups
In a cognitive behavioral group, you learn how to change unhelpful beliefs and behaviors, which is the main goal of a popular therapy called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
For instance, you might believe that you will never recover from your mental health condition. Your therapist and group members can help you adopt a more helpful belief, such as “I can recover as long as I have a good treatment plan and support system.”
Relapse Prevention Groups
Anyone with a mental health condition or substance use disorder faces the risk of relapse. In a relapse prevention group, you will learn how to avoid relapse by identifying and managing your triggers.
Triggers are people, places, or other things that worsen your mental health or make you want to engage in self-destructive behaviors, such as substance abuse.
Once you identify your triggers, you will learn healthy behaviors to help you cope with them, such as:
- getting enough sleep
- expressing yourself through a creative activity, such as painting, writing, or playing an instrument
- spending time in nature
- spending time with supportive loved ones
In a support group, group members discuss the ups and downs of life in recovery.
The therapist gives tips on how to cope with specific challenges, and group members can share which coping skills helped them in similar situations. The therapist may also introduce specific discussion topics, such as self-esteem, relationships, or jobs.
Benefits Of Group Therapy
Every type of group therapy has important benefits, including:
A Sense Of Community
When you live with a mental health condition or substance use disorder, it’s easy to feel alone. Group therapy helps you realize that many other people face similar struggles. Each session brings a sense of community, understanding, and acceptance.
In this safe environment, you can express your feelings without fear of judgment. This type of self-expression is essential to good mental health.
Improved Social Skills
Many people with mental health concerns have trouble socializing. In group therapy, you can practice your social skills in a structured group setting.
The therapist can also give you personalized feedback on how to boost your communication skills so you can resolve conflicts and build healthier relationships.
The Ability To Learn From Your Peers
Although individual therapy plays a key role in mental health treatment, it only involves feedback from one person. In group therapy, you can get feedback from a variety of diverse perspectives.
Your fellow group members will use their unique knowledge and experiences to give you advice and help you better understand yourself. This is called interpersonal learning.
Through interpersonal learning, you can gain new insights that make your mental health journey easier. You can also use your own knowledge to assist other group members. Helping others in this way can boost your self-esteem and overall sense of wellness.
To learn more about group therapy and other mental health treatments, please reach out to Ohio Recovery Center. Our board-certified healthcare providers offer personalized, evidence-based treatment plans to help you or your loved one thrive.
- American Psychological Association https://www.apa.org/topics/psychotherapy/group-therapy
- National Library of Medicine: StatPearls https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK549812/
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration https://store.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/SAMHSA_Digital_Download/pep20-02-01-020.pdf