Group therapy is a common component in most modern treatments for addiction. It brings people with everyday shared experiences together to share and learn from each other. Addiction can be isolating. Going through treatment and recovery can feel lonely. Group therapy is a great way to create a community for your clients who might need it, giving them a safe place to move through their experiences. Keep reading if you are a provider looking for topics to cover during addiction group therapy sessions.
Addiction Group Therapy Topics:
A trigger is something that makes someone more likely to relapse. For someone with alcohol addiction, a trigger might be a party where everyone around them is drinking. For someone with substance addiction, this might mean hanging around people they used with in the past. Strong emotional experiences and trauma can also be triggers for those battling addiction. It is vital to highlight one’s triggers so that they know what situations and experiences might put them at risk for relapsing. In the group therapy setting, hearing others talk about their triggers can help an individual better understand their own. Therapists can create a space to discuss triggers as well as healthy ways to respond to them.
Patients/clients battling addiction rarely leave time to care for themselves. This condition is, by nature, self-destructive. Introducing self-care into their routine is an integral part of their recovery. Providers can talk to their group about different ways they might care for and maintain their mental and physical health. For example, setting a consistent routine is how some individuals reach their goals—for others, finding a new hobby, surrounding themselves with things that bring them joy, or even exercise might be what works. Self-care for one individual might look very different than it does for another. Group therapy helps generate self-care ideas and holds people accountable to their plans.
Creating plans for the future is a common way to help patients with addiction stay motivated with their recovery and sobriety. These plans do not have to be grandiose or complicated, but they still give a patient something to look forward to and work toward accomplishing. Discussing this in a group setting helps increase accountability to both their peers and their provider.
Healthy relationships with other people are essential for anyone, not just those battling addiction. In addiction recovery, establishing healthy relationships is vital for several reasons. Surrounding oneself with those who bring out the best in them is a great thing to do when maintaining sobriety. Group therapy is an excellent place for therapists to discuss the characteristics of healthy relationships and how to identify signs of an unhealthy relationship.
Many people with addictions struggle with negative feelings toward themselves. The journey of self-forgiveness is important during someone’s recovery. It allows them to stop viewing themselves negatively, which can perpetuate bad habits, and start viewing themselves as someone worthy of a good life. Providers can discuss what self-forgiveness looks like and why it is so important.
Mindfulness helps people connect with themselves, relax, reduce stress and better manage anxiety. It is an excellent resource for recovery, assisting individuals in finding peace during such a stressful time. Mindfulness is a great addiction group therapy topic. Providers can discuss how to practice it, giving examples and completing exercises with group members.
Boundaries can be a fuzzy thing to navigate amid recovery with yourself or with others. While challenging, boundaries are critical. They help someone set healthy limits with themselves and others, help someone practice self-care, protect an individual emotionally and physically, and so much more. Therapists can discuss how to establish healthy boundaries during recovery.
Gratitude is the process of expressing how grateful one is to something or someone. Practicing gratitude can help someone gain perspective on what they have versus what they feel they have lost due to their addiction. In group therapy, providers can have their participants discuss different things they are grateful for and why as well as have them practice gratitude outside of sessions.
The list doesn’t end here. Group therapy is a powerful tool providers can use to help clients battling addiction find community, escape loneliness, and learn valuable skills for recovery. That’s why TheraNest offers an easy-to-use scheduling tool that includes group sessions. Our software also can even allow you to set up group telehealth sessions to maintain that sense of community even when life or distance gets in the way.