Using Skills Group Therapy with Peers in Treatment
Skills group are utilized throughout treatment for eating disorder, addiction, and dual diagnosis as a way to help individuals develop the needed confidence in recovery. As a group setting, these types of therapies can not only help to identify and address specific underlying causes of internal struggles but can also help to do so in a supportive and inviting setting. Some benefits of skills group throughout treatment can include:
- Helping individuals to practice honesty with themselves and others
- Taking responsibility for thoughts, words, and behaviors
- Interacting with peers who may be experiencing similar circumstances
- Learning to listen to others in a constructive way
- Practicing empathy as a result of constructive listening
- Developing recovery friendships and practicing making new friends
- Confronting problems in relationships in a healthy way
- Recognizing and avoiding toxic relationships
- Developing skills to avoid triggers like peer pressure
- Managing moods on a daily basis
Since these skills groups are offered in a group setting, individuals have all the practice at developing, and managing effective relationships. And, along with the social setting, can practice other necessary tools which are needed throughout the recovery process. However, there are specific types of therapies utilized in skills groups.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
This type of therapy is highly effective in helping those in treatment be prepared to prevent relapse. The theory that motivates this type of therapy is that developing self-inflicting behaviors, which substance abuse is, requires learned behavior. So, if you can learn to develop abnormal behavior patterns, you can certainly also learn to develop healthy ones too. During therapy sessions, individuals learn to identify and address specific behaviors and even thoughts that may be supportive to the cycle of active addiction. And, to develop coping strategies which may be utilized when confronted with issues that can place recovery at risk.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
DBT can be classified as a type of cognitive behavioral therapy because it includes changing cognitive thought patterns to change behavior. Specifically, individuals utilizing this type of therapy can actively work on regulating moods, developing social tolerance, and mindfulness. All in all, it can help to build the needed social strategies and skills needed to reduce the risk of relapse when a person comes into contact with relapse triggers. When a person knows how to react in specific situations, and practices these situations in therapy, they are better equipped to respond in a way that’s not harmful to their recovery. This is the overall goal of a dialectical behavioral approach to therapy.
Acceptance and Commitment Group Therapy
A person in treatment won’t get far without two things; acceptance and commitment. First and foremost, an individual has to accept that they are not in control of their addiction. When a person finally accepts that they are powerless of their addiction, they can finally prepare to open the mind up to methods of healing. Another part of acceptance is being able to accept the fact that sobriety is the only option for effective treatment. Many times, individuals come to treatment looking to reduce their drug use or plan to use again in the future. This is not true acceptance, nor does it allow for true and lasting healing. So, acceptance is both coming to terms with the powerlessness of addiction and accepting a new lifestyle of sobriety. Next, once acceptance is achieved, commitment is key. Without a commitment to sobriety, a person may not get very far. There are relapse triggers around every corner. Without a deep motivation and commitment to recovery, an individual is bound to relapse. To address and develop both acceptance and commitment, we offer a specific type of group skill process therapy known as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy or ACT. During this type of therapy, individuals can expect to learn about the importance of both concepts and also to practice utilizing them throughout recovery.