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Group Therapy in Addiction Treatment

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Group Therapy in Addiction Treatment

In my last post I wrote about self-help groups organized by certain professions to help their therapy.jpg 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.


  • Laurie B.

    I am a proponent of group therapy for addiction treatment. I am an attorney, anticipate celebrating 8 years sober at the end of the month. I almost lost my life due to an insatiable addiction to pain pills. When I was using 50 lortab 10’s a day to function, not even get high, I did not think ANYONE would understand my level of use. Once released from incarceration, I began attending many 12 step groups where I realize I was just “another person on the bus.” I was told when I entered one of the rooms to “take off my uniquers.” The point is that group therapy serves more purposes than one can imagine. Besides ideas and support, it serves to reinforce we are not alone on this journey and through group therapy, we are given the platform to share our experience, strength and hope.

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