Group Therapy in Addiction Treatment
In my last post I wrote about self-help groups organized by certain professions to help their own. That got me thinking about group therapy. Recovery programs and centers employ numerous tools, depending on the program and center: 1-on-1 counseling with an addiction specialist, nutrition education, natural remedies, medication, books, meditation, yoga, and a person who becomes a sponsor.
Many recovery center programs, but not all, offer group therapy as well. The ones that don’t seem to appeal to people who might want confidentiality, like executives. WebMD holds that one of the greatest benefits of group therapy is that it can make people realize they’re not alone. Do a search on your state for some of the self-help groups and you’ll see how true that is—at least by sheer numbers.
Whatever is said in group therapy is supposed to be confidential, so for many people a group is a place to feel safe. Group therapy can be run by a professional, as in a recovery center or even at a college, or in a self-help group, by a facilitator, a group member.
The Georgetown University webpage on group therapy—which is directed at students—says
“Not only do students receive tremendous understanding, support, and encouragement from others facing similar issues, but they also gain different perspectives, ideas, and viewpoints on those issues.”
There’s an interesting group listed on the site that may attract students before their drinking develops into a full-blown addiction:
Alcohol and Other Drugs Explorations Group
This is a group designed for Georgetown students who are reassessing their use of alcohol or other substances. There is no requirement of abstinence. The only requirement is a willingness to examine what is happening around one’s use of substances. This is a confidential counseling group, not an AA group or a 12-step group. Students are welcome to refer themselves, and faculty and staff may also make referrals. Students may join at any point in the semester. The Group Facilitator is Phil Meilman, PhD. A brief screening and orientation meeting will be needed beforehand to ensure that students are matched appropriately to the group. No Fee.