Rehab provides you the opportunity to attend therapy groups. It’s an invaluable opportunity. However, are you curious to know what goes on in group therapy? For example, what are some substance use group topics or recovery group topics you might discuss at a substance use treatment center?
Process Group Topics and Themed Groups in Rehab
Meeting with peers in recovery is an excellent method for ending self-imposed isolation. Many people with an addiction remove others from their lives. Returning to interacting may seem awkward at first. However, because a therapist facilitates the meetings, it gets a little more comfortable.
Process groups don’t usually have an end goal. The idea is for you and your peers to determine process group topics for substance use that could help with personal growth. Often, the topic is something an attendee is currently working on. Because it probably applies to most participants, it makes sense to talk about it.
The therapist who facilitates the group ensures healthy interactions. He or she might model proper communication styles and boundary setting. Of course, a themed group follows a different method. Here, the facilitator determines the focus of the group and steers conversations.
Typical Substance Use Group Topics
In a more formal themed group, you might work on anger management. The therapist, who puts the group together, selects participants based on their needs. If the counselor believes that you need help with anger management techniques, you’d be a good fit. Anger management techniques become popular topics that you explore in this setting. A few common topics include:
- Letting go of guilt
- Taking accountability
- Managing cravings
Other groups work to help you identify your addiction and work on sobriety. In these groups, common topics include:
- Identifying your addiction
- Identifying your triggers (especially beneficial for individuals with a dual diagnosis, such as anxiety)
- Making a sobriety plan
- Building a support system
- Managing cravings and withdrawal symptoms
- Dealing with stress and anxiety without substances
There are also groups that focus on wellness and relapse prevention. These groups usually take a more holistic approach to addiction treatment. Topics in these groups might include:
- Identifying your core values
- Building positive coping mechanisms
- Mindfulness and meditation
- Diet and exercise for recovery
- Creating a balanced lifestyle
- Making a relapse prevention plan
These are just a few examples of what you might discuss in an addiction therapy group. The topics covered will be based on the needs of the participants. If you’re struggling with addiction, consider attending a group to get the support you need.
Fitting Therapy Groups in with Other Rehab Modalities
As useful as discussing a broad range of substance use group topics will be, it’s not enough to stand alone. Group therapy must be part of a more comprehensive treatment approach. Examples include:
- Family therapy, which helps you to initiate contact with loved ones to re-establish communication
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy that encourages negative pattern recognition to change your actions
- 12-Step recovery meetings, which provide relapse prevention strategies in the form of accountability
- Art therapy as a means for expressing yourself more deeply and gaining introspection
- Trauma therapy that benefits program participants with unresolved issues from the past or PTSD
In the process of undergoing these therapeutic approaches, you have the potential to experience tremendous personal growth. Process and themed groups that you attend then build on this growth. They also show you areas where you need to dig in a little more. However, unless you attend a group session, you’ll never know.
One of the newer therapies introduced into substance use rehab is meditation. Meditation has proven helpful as part of an addiction treatment program as it gives addicts something else to focus on other than obtaining drugs. It helps people cope with the stresses that might cause them to relapse and resume drug use. When combined with other therapies, meditation can shorten the time that is necessary for other therapies to become effective.
If you’re interested in trying meditation, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:
- Don’t expect miracles – Meditation will not erase years of drug abuse and make you sober overnight. It is a tool that can help you focus on sobriety and provide some relief from stressors, but it won’t work miracles.
- It takes practice – Like anything else, meditation requires practice to get better at it. The more you meditate, the better you’ll become at it and the more benefit you’ll see from it.
Putting Group Therapy to Work For Your Recovery
Learning these typical substance use group topics can help you feel more prepared to seek treatment. So, even though the idea of meeting in a group can seem intimidating at first, don’t avoid it. It’s a fantastic learning experience. Find out more about recovery group topics and healing from drug or alcohol abuse by calling Crestview Recovery at 866.262.0531.
Since 2016, Dr. Merle Williamson, a graduate of Oregon Health Sciences University, has been the Medical Director at Crestview Recovery, bringing a rich background in addiction medicine from his time at Hazelden Treatment Center. He oversees outpatient drug and alcohol treatments, providing medical care, setting policies, detox protocols, and quality assurance measures. Before specializing in addiction medicine, he spent 25 years in anesthesiology, serving as Chair of Hospital Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee and Chief of Anesthesia at Kaiser Permanente. This experience gives him a unique perspective on treating prescription drug addiction.