Group therapy is a very powerful medium in which lots of different therapeutic models can be successfully delivered. Understandably, some patients find the prospect of group therapy daunting at first; the thought of sharing their inner most feelings with others terrifies them, as their addiction had taken them to a place of complete isolation and desperate loneliness. Addiction leads to secrets, denial and covering up. Group therapy is designed to assist the individual in overcoming their fear of others and come to recognise the power of the group, as opposed to battling their addiction alone
“Initially, when I found out part of my rehabilitation would include group therapy, I was filled with fear. I had become so isolated and fearful of others judging me. I soon came to realise its benefits though; the counsellor was amazing and gently encouraged me to share my thoughts, feelings and experiences. My peers were so understanding and supportive and just like me in many ways. I realised I was no longer alone and found the group therapy sessions very beneficial and enjoyable!”
At Bradford Oasis, we use group therapy as part of our structured and intensive rehabilitation programme. The therapy is delivered within a large spacious room that is light and well ventilated and is facilitated by one or more experienced Counsellors or therapists. Group therapy is used to deliver various proven therapeutic methodologies of addiction treatment. Each session lasts approximately one hour and the Counsellor or therapist facilitating the group will ensure that all of the patients attending receive personalised therapy, within a safe and non-judgemental environment. The facilitator will ensure that control of the group is kept at all times and will lead its direction, deliver various therapeutic models and ensure that every patient has the opportunity to engage and benefit.
Many addicts and alcoholics live a life built on lies and end up isolated from family, friends and loved ones. Admitting and facing the truth is too painful and most will not know where to start. Feelings of shame and guilt can be overwhelming and this can lead to more drinking, using and secretive maladaptive and destructive behaviours. Bradford Oasis wholeheartedly believe in the power of a group therapy. Each individual is encouraged to lay aside his or her fears and share openly in a structured and compassionate environment. As well as benefitting from the therapeutic models used by the Counsellor or Therapist delivering the session, each patient will also have the opportunity to feedback to other patients, and receive encouragement and support from their peers. Sharing similar experiences and/or how they have overcome them is very powerful; as it has been proven that one addict helping another is very successful in overcoming addiction.
As addiction escalates, the sufferer becomes more and more consumed by the substance or behaviour; shame, guilt and depression often lead to complete isolation and to a place where the individual no longer wants to live. It may well be that the only human contact they have on a daily basis is with their dealer or the local off-licence staff.
The days of enjoyment and socialising are long gone and have become but a distant memory. An addict’s world becomes incredibly small as they are caught in a vicious cycle of living to use and using to live. We use group therapy to break this isolation and to help the individual feel part of the world once again. It encourages unity amongst peers and helps them to realise that alone in their own thoughts is rarely a good thing, as they are hardwired to their addiction.
Group Therapy empowers our patients to overcome the urge to isolate. Building a positive network of recovery friends who understand, are on the same wave length and have a common goal, is very important. After a few sessions, patients start to open up and realise the benefits of doing so. On that basis, Counsellors are able to make progress in tackling the issues that are underpinning their addiction.
Our Counsellors and Therapists use a person centred approach to treatment. Each patient is treated as an individual and each treatment tailored according to the individual’s specific treatment needs for optimum results.
Group therapy is extremely flexible and allows for a number of evidence based, powerful addiction therapies to be delivered by an experienced and qualified therapist. This includes therapies such as: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) , Process therapy, Psychotherapy, Trauma therapy, 12 Step Therapy, Music, Art and Meditation.
Group therapy is used as a basis for the individual discovering and revealing their true authentic self, with support and encouragement from their peers and a qualified Counsellor or Therapist. It also encourages them to feedback and support their peers; taking them out of their own head and being of help to others. They soon discover that they are of value and this helps to raise their self-esteem and self-worth.
The benefits of group therapy have been realised for many years in the field of addiction treatment. It is also extremely helpful in treating those with co-occurring illnesses such as Depression and Anxiety Disorder and those suffering from a Dual Diagnosis . Contribution from peers can be extremely powerful, as a number of different views from individuals who have experienced similar thoughts, feelings and experiences can reassure the patient, break down denial and assist them in seeing and accepting the truth. With the help of the Counsellor or therapist present and other peers, an effective solution can be found to problems. Peers will usually continue to support each other outside of therapeutic sessions in a constructive and compassionate way.
As well as being a powerful medium for delivering highly effective addiction therapies, Group therapy also offers the following proven benefits:
Group therapy helped me to see that the root of my problem was not the alcohol, but me. I was the problem and it was me that needed to get well. I formed some strong and positive friendships with my peers. For someone who had previously led a life of isolation and secrecy, this was a huge change for me. I used to think I liked being isolated; the truth is, my illness liked me to be isolated!
Bradford Oasis use a number of cutting edge, evidence based addiction treatment therapies that are delivered within a group environment. A Counsellor or qualified therapist will be present throughout the whole session, to direct and deliver different therapeutic methodologies and ensure that the group remains a safe and non-threatening place for all that attend. Group therapy is used in addition to individual therapies and compliments the person centred treatment programme that we deliver. Holistic therapies can also be delivered within a group therapy environment as can psychoeducational workshops.
If you have any questions relating to our group therapy sessions or our individualised treatment programmes, please call us and speak to a member of our clinical team who will be happy to help; or chat to us LIVE online now!