Group Therapy

BlueSkies uses group therapy to explore and deliver a number of treatment methodologies. The reason being is that there is great power to be had from others collective input. Addiction is often extremely isolating and lonely in the last weeks and months leading up to rehab admission. Group therapy places the individual in direct contact with others, providing a sense of unity and support. It allows for different perspectives and lowers the defences on an individual basis. It is especially successful in treating feelings that often accompany substance abuse and mood disorders such as depression, guilt, shame and hopelessness.

How Group Therapy Works

Group therapy is as the name suggests. A modality of therapy is delivered to clients as a group for maximum effect. Throughout the session, at least one qualified therapist/counsellor will be present to conduct and deliver the treatment modality. The therapy is usually carried out in a large and airy room that is private from interruption and will last approximately one hour. The Counsellor or Psychotherapist present will lead the session and ensure that each client is provided with the space and time to receive the therapy and to feed back to others.

Benefits of Group Therapy

Group Therapy has a number of proven benefits and advantages:

  • Breaks the habit of Isolation often imposed by active addiction
  • Creates a sense of unity and trust within the group
  • Allows for different perspectives and viewpoints
  • Challenges the individuals thought process and beliefs
  • Inspires the individual in their own recovery as they witness growth and recovery in others
  • Fosters the belief that communicating with others is a powerful tool in recovery
  • Improves social skills and empathy for others
  • Assists the individual in thinking outside of their own situation
  • Provides the individual with an opportunity to learn from others and their experiences
  • Improves self-esteem as they come to realise their contribution is valuable
  • Provides an insight into their own issues as well as others
  • Helps dispel the belief that they will be judged by others for talking openly and honestly
  • Helps the individual to understand that they are not alone in their thought and feelings
What Treatments Can be Adapted to Group Therapy?

There are a number of addiction treatment modalities that work exceptionally well in a group therapy environment. The counsellor or therapist leading the group will deliver the modality and lead and control the group to keep the environment safe, non threatening and productive. Here are the most common therapies that work well in group therapy and that are used by BlueSkies as part of the treatment program:

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

This therapy is aimed at challenging and changing thought patterns related to addiction and mood disorders. By changing the thought processes that were previously the individuals driving force in life, their actions change for the better. Delivering this therapy within a group gives others the opportunity to help with identifying negative and unhelpful thinking and for suggesting more a positive perspective. By listening to the experiences of others, individuals are able to relate and identify wrong thinking in themselves. This therapy is particularly powerful within a group, as suggestions and challenges are made that even a counsellor may not have presented.

Interpersonal Process Groups

Process groups are usually led by a Counsellor or Psychotherapist, depending on the size of the group more than one therapist may be present. Process provides the individual with an opportunity to talk about anything that is bothering them, either inside or outside of the treatment environment. They are also asked to identify the overriding feeling that they are currently experiencing and then explain why. Feedback from the therapist and their peers helps the individual to process the feeling in a supportive and non-judgmental environment. Peers may also share similar experiences to reassure that the individual is not alone in what they are experiencing.

Psycho-Educational Groups

These groups teach the individuals about the nature of their illness and the effects and consequences. The group may be encouraged to brain storm and relate their experiences to gain a better understanding of substance abuse, addiction and the reasons underlying it. These groups are designed to educate so that the individual is fully armed with the facts about themselves and the nature of their illness. Examples of Psycho=educational groups are Relapse Prevention, Life skills, 12 Step groups and Health Education.

Goals Group

This group helps the individual identify areas in their recovery and interpersonal skills that may be lacking. It is then down to their peers to decide as a group on a goal for them to achieve over the coming week. Their peers will have been sharing accommodation and groups with them, and as a result come to experience them as an individual. This puts them in a unique place to make suggestions where there is room for improvement. Each client will have a positive goal identified and be supported by the group in making the necessary changes to achieve that goal.

Group therapy is successful in treating a vast range of substance and behavioural related addictions as well as conditions such as Depression, Anxiety and Trauma.

If you have any further questions regarding our treatment program, or wish to speak to a member of our therapeutic team, please contact us directly