Understanding the Power of Group Therapy in Addiction Treatment

group therapy in addiction treatment

Recovering from addiction requires dedication, treatment, and ongoing support. For many, it also means finding a new group of friends, making connections in the community, and improving communication skills.

The process of rebuilding your social life often begins while you are in an addiction treatment program. While you get the help you need to regain control over your substance use and learn the skills to maintain sobriety for life, you’ll make connections with people in a similar situation wanting to change.

Group therapy in addiction treatment programs is an essential part of building new connections and learning how to communicate with others more effectively. It also has many other benefits that make it a crucial part of any rehab program.

This article will explore the benefits of group therapy in addiction treatment and help you to understand why you should embrace this aspect of rehab. Reach out to the caring staff at Moving Mountains Recovery to learn more about starting one of our holistic treatment programs.

What is Group Therapy?

Group therapy is a type of counseling that occurs in a group setting. During sessions, a group of people meets with a licensed addiction counselor or therapist to talk about a variety of issues. It can be highly structured or very flexible, allowing for processing as it comes up for group members.

In an addiction treatment setting, group therapy sessions may occur several times per week over the course of many weeks throughout the duration of the program.

Types of Group Therapy

Like much of addiction treatment, group therapy is not one-size-fits-all. There are many types of group therapy that can help people meet specific goals. Group therapy methods focus on different things, and people may engage in more than one type throughout their time in rehab.

Some of the most common types of group therapy in addiction treatment are:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) group therapy
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) group therapy
  • Expressive group therapy, like art and music therapy
  • Gender-specific group therapy
  • Trauma group therapy
  • 12-step groups
  • Self-help groups
  • Drug education groups
  • Skills development group
  • Relapse prevention skills group

Each type of group therapy supports a different kind of learning and can help people move toward their recovery-related goals, both during and after rehab.

What is the Purpose of Group Therapy in Addiction Treatment?

Group therapy sessions are essential to a person’s overall experience and outcomes in addiction treatment. They provide a safe place for people to process emotions and share their experiences in addiction and recovery.

Group therapy also provides an opportunity for people to learn from others’ experiences and make connections with others. It is a place to share struggles, ask for advice, offer support, and celebrate successes.

Addiction can feel lonely. Many people isolate themselves from others during their period of substance abuse or neglect relationships until they break. Group therapy offers a chance to find real connections with others and develop relationships with people who understand their experiences.

What are the Benefits of Group Therapy in Addiction Treatment?

Research suggests that group therapy offers many benefits to those in recovery and should be included in every treatment plan. Here are some of the most significant benefits.

Reduce shame and guilt

People with addiction often carry feelings of guilt, regret, and shame over their past behaviors and choices. Group therapy allows people to explore and process these feelings–and to understand they are not alone with them. Developing empathy toward others in the same situation can help them be more forgiving of themselves.

Reduce drop-outs

Group therapy is shown to help keep people engaged in the recovery process, which reduces the likelihood that they’ll drop out of treatment early. Completing a treatment program makes it more likely that a person learns the skills and finds support to avoid relapse for life.

Provide structure

Life with substance abuse often feels chaotic, with no regular daily routine to keep you grounded. One of the most important parts of rehab is the structure and routine it provides. Group therapy is integral to that routine because it allows for a regular, predictable time and place to process feelings, share experiences, and find support.


People need community and belonging to thrive and live their best, healthiest lives. Group therapy in addiction treatment provides the opportunity to develop a supportive, nurturing community during rehab–and to learn the skills that allow people to do this when they return to the “real world.”

Get Help Now

You don’t have to live with your addiction. Effective, compassionate treatment is just a phone call away. At Moving Mountains Recovery, we offer a range of holistic addiction treatment programs designed to empower you and support whole-self healing during recovery. Reach out to our admissions team today to explore your treatment programs or find support during any stage of addiction recovery.

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