Individual and group addiction therapy are two of the most used models. In addiction treatment, it’s critical to explore different ways of talking and opening up about what’s happened and what the future will hold. Individual therapy is just as it sounds, working one-on-one with a therapist. Group addiction therapy focuses on bringing together a group of people who share similar experiences to talk and confide in each other. What are the benefits of each?
Addiction is a very personal experience. Why it happened and what happened varies significantly from one person to the other. Often, there’s underlying trauma or mental illness that needs to be managed effectively. In individual therapy, it’s possible to sit with a therapist to work on what’s happened and why, and learning how to overcome these difficulties. Private addiction counseling like this is nearly always a component of any therapy provided.
What happens in private addiction therapy? This also differs from one provider to the next. Yet, most people will spend some time working closely with their therapist on their personal needs. Some areas of focus are likely to include:
During individual therapy, your therapist will work with you to open up about what you’re feeling and why you’re facing addiction. For example, he or she will talk to you about why you started using and how it got out of control. You may need to explore past trauma or experiences that put you on the road to addiction.
Many people with addiction also have co-occurring conditions. That means they may have underlying mental health issues such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, or bipolar disorder. If you have one of these, your therapist will help you work through it. Treating your addiction without balancing mental health concerns is rarely effective.
Everyone has triggers, or people, places, experiences, or things that bring back up memories of using or cause heightened levels of stress. These are situations in which, while you were actively using, you would have picked up a glass or used your drug of choice. By understanding what your personal triggers are, it’s possible to learn how to manage these situations later in life. You can learn how to avoid some triggers and how to work through those moments when you can’t.
During private addiction counseling, you’ll work with your therapist through a number of different therapies. Each therapy is meant to help you develop a way to work through your addiction. Some of the types of individual therapies you may use with your therapist include:
You may use some or all of these programs, depending on your unique needs. The goal is to ensure you’re able to learn how to deal with your addiction in the most effective method possible. Individual therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, can teach you how to manage negative thoughts, which often lead to drug or alcohol use. You will learn how to reduce the stigma of specific experiences, so you don’t feel the need to use drugs or alcohol when you are faced with them.
Individual or private addiction therapy is very effective for many people. It is a way to tackle your own specific needs during therapy. It allows you to:
Individual addiction therapy is an opportunity to rebuild your self in a private manner. You’ll feel good about each session, knowing it’s an avenue to help you recover. Most often, your therapist can help you address the unique needs you have, giving you confidence, and the ability to develop new skills to use in every day life outside of therapy.
While individual therapy is very important and always provided, professionally led group therapy for addiction is also a valuable investment as well. In a group session, you’ll be with people who are facing some of the same struggles you are. They have been through many of the same experiences and face the same obstacles to reclaiming their life and future.
Not everyone in a group therapy session is going to have the same opinions. Some people will participate more than others. Yet, the idea behind a group therapy session is to realize you are not alone in this process. In many ways, this is the ideal way for you to interact with people who truly get what it is like to be unable to say no or to deal with the stereotypes that come with addiction. Group therapy can be done in various ways, too.
Sitting with a group of people and talking about your addiction is a very real opportunity to get to the heart of addiction. You’ll hear about the complications other people have. You’ll learn their stories. You may be able to bond with some. On the other hand, you may be able to share your own story and help others. Just hearing that other people are facing the same thing you are – and perhaps learning some of their strategies for managing their addiction – can help you.
During your private addiction therapy, you’ll work closely with your therapist about your specific needs. In group therapy, though, you’ll learn about your addiction and how to manage your disease. These group learning experiences are an excellent way to build confidence in your ability to live your life outside of addiction.
Some group therapy sessions can revolve around the 12 Step model. Within an addiction treatment center, 12 Step program groups may be available. This is not the same as a traditional AA group you may find outside of therapy. Yet, you can begin to use this model for recovery if it fits your needs.
You’ll find many benefits of group therapy sessions. Each one is a bit different, creating new opportunities for you to find a way to heal. Some of the benefits of group therapy in addiction include:
Group therapy in a professionally led environment can be powerful. Imagine what you can learn from others. Imagine what you can teach others from your journey.
With addiction, it is critical to have a resource for rebuilding. Just not using drugs or alcohol is not enough to help you overcome addiction. Yet, both private addiction therapy and group therapy can help you to achieve these outcomes. They give you the tools to understand what’s happened and why. Then, they provide you with the resources you need to get back into a new life. For many men and women, a combination of both therapy options is ideal for achieving their best outcome for a long, healthy recovery.