Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes PhD, LPC-MHSP, LMHC
Executive Director, AllCEUsTraining Objectives
◦ Provide an overview of group therapy used in substance abuse treatment.
◦ Discuss the use of group therapy in substance abuse treatment.
◦ Define five group therapy models used in substance abuse treatment.
◦ Explain the advantages of group therapy.
◦ Modify group therapy to treat substance abuse
~ Supports members in times of pain and trouble.
~ Enriches members with insight and guidance.
~ Is a natural ally with addiction treatment.
~ Has trained leaders.
~ Produces healing or recovery from substance abuse
Group Therapy in Treatment cont…
~ Can address factors associated with addiction
◦ Temporary cognitive impairment
◦ Character pathology
◦ Medication Management
◦ Pain Management
~ Provide positive peer support for abstinence and positive action
~ Reduce isolation
~ Enable members to witness the recovery of others.
~ Allow members to see how others deal with similar problems.
~ Provide feedback on group members’ values and abilities.
~ Offer family-like experiences.
~ Encourage, coach, support, and reinforce.
~ Can add needed structure and discipline
~ Instill hope, a sense that “If he can make it, so can I.”
~ Support and provide encouragement to one another outside the group setting.
~ Group therapy is not individual therapy done with an audience
~ Group therapy is not a mutual support group
~ Group therapy is designed to help people develop and practice knowledge and skills in a microcosm
~ Group therapy also aids patients in learning how to develop healthy, supportive relationships
~ Explain the stages of change.
~ Discuss the three specialized group therapy models used in substance abuse treatment.
Variable Factors for Groups
~ Group or leader focus
~ Specificity of the group agenda
~ Heterogeneity or homogeneity of group members
~ Open-ended or determinate duration of treatment
~ Level of leader activity
~ Duration of treatment and length of each session
~ Arrangement of room
~ Characteristics of the individuals
~ Assist individuals in every stage of change
~ Help clients learn about
◦ Their disorders
◦ Treatment options
◦ Other resources
~ Provide family members with an understanding of the person in recovery.
~ Educate about a disorder or teach a skill or tool
~ Work to engage clients in the discussion
~ Prompt clients to relate what they learn to their own issues (disorders, goals, challenges, successes)
~ Are highly structured and often follow a manual or curriculum. Teach Apply Practice
~ Components of Learning
◦ Capture (acquire knowledge)
◦ Conceptualization (Relating to building blocks)
◦ Caring (Motivation)
~ Foster an environment that supports participation
~ Encourage participants to take responsibility for their learning
~ Use a variety of learning methods that require sensory experiences
~ Are mindful of cognitive impairments
Skills Development Group Purpose
~ Cultivate skills necessary to
◦ Prevent relapse
◦ Achieve an acceptable quality of life
~ Assume clients lack needed skills.
~ Allow clients to practice skills.
◦ Skills directly related to recovery
◦ Skills necessary to thrive in general
Skills Development Groups
~ Have a limited number of sessions and a limited number of participants
~ Strengthen behavioral and cognitive resources
~ Focus on developing an information base on which decisions can be made and actions taken
~ Conceptualize dependence as a learned behavior that is subject to modifications through various interventions.
~ Work to change learned behavior by changing thinking patterns, beliefs, and perceptions.
~ Include psychological elements (e.g., thoughts, beliefs, decisions, opinions, and assumptions).
~ Develop social networks that support abstinence so that the person with dependence becomes aware of behaviors that may lead to relapse and develops strategies to continue in recovery.
◦ Role plays
~ Encompass a variety of approaches that focus on changing cognition and the behavior that flows from it.
~ Focus on problem solving and short- and long-term goal setting.
~ Help clients monitor feelings and behavior, particularly those associated with substance use.
~ Are useful for apprehensive clients who are looking for a safe environment.
~ Bolster members’ efforts to develop and strengthen
◦ their ability to manage thinking and emotions
◦ interpersonal skills
~ Address pragmatic concerns.
~ Improve members’ self-esteem and self-confidence.
Support Group Characteristics
~ Often are open ended, with a changing population of members.
~ Encourage discussion about members’ current situations and recent problems.
~ Provide peer feedback and require members to be accountable to one another.
~ Vary with group goals and members’ needs.
◦ Facilitate discussion among members
◦ Maintain appropriate group boundaries
◦ Help the group work through obstacles and conflicts
◦ Provide acceptance of and regard for members.
~ Ensure that interpersonal struggles among group members do not hinder group development
~ Recognize that conflicting forces in the mind, some of which may be outside one’s awareness, determine a person’s behavior, whether healthful or unhealthful.
~ Address developmental influences, starting in early childhood, and environmental influences, to which people are particularly vulnerable because of their genetic and other biological characteristics.
Interpersonal Process Groups
~ Delve into major developmental issues, searching for patterns that contribute to the problem or interfere with recovery.
~ Use psychodynamics, or the way people function psychologically, to promote change and healing.
~ Rely on the here-and-now interactions of members.
~ Multiple types of groups are available to assist clients in achieving their goals
~ View current coping skills as “creative adaptations”
~ Strengthening the healthy skills
~ Skills required to facilitate these groups overlap significantly
Summary: Types of Groups
~ Psychoeducational (Knowledge/classroom)
~ Skills Development (Skills/lab)
~ Cognitive Behavioral
~ Support Groups
Summary: Making It Effective
~ Start group by telling what they are going to learn/do and why it is useful to them
~ Present an overview of what you are talking about
~ Have written material
~ Discuss the material and apply it
~ Have each group member close by identifying 1 thing they got out of group and how they will use it.