An intensive outpatient program (IOP) may consist of various types of group therapy such as psychoeducational groups, skill development groups, and process/support groups. Regardless of the type of group, IOP group therapy provides essential support and growth opportunities for people who are newly sober.1 Here are six of the main benefits of group therapy in addiction recovery.
- Education and personal growth
Group therapy during IOP provides education on specific problems and issues that people in recovery are learning how to manage. Often, this includes communication skills, coping strategies, stress management, relapse prevention and management, and life skills development. Group therapy is also an opportunity for staff to teach IOP clients new skills and provide guidance as they learn and practice new behaviors in recovery.
- Peer support
Group therapy is an excellent time for clients to give and receive support from peers who are also recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. A support group is designed to be an environment where clients help and confront one another to encourage personal growth and promote lasting success in sobriety. In addition, this environment is an ideal place for clients who are further along in their recovery journey to help other clients who are new to a sober lifestyle.
Getting sober can be an incredibly humbling and positive experience, but it can also be isolating, especially if a client’s friends or loved ones are abusing drugs or are unsupportive of their recovery. In many instances, a person may feel like they are alone in their recovery journey or like their loved ones don’t understand what they’re going through. Regardless of a client’s home environment or the presence of an outside support system, group therapy during IOP supports clients by reminding them that they are not alone in their recovery journey and that other people are facing the same struggles. It promotes acceptance and healing during a very difficult and transitional time.
- Healthy social experiences
When a person is tied to a lifestyle of addiction, social experiences often revolve around drug and alcohol abuse. Changing this mindset in recovery can be a difficult and time-consuming process, but group therapy can help by providing healthy social experiences that don’t revolve around drugs or alcohol. By regularly participating in these group sessions, clients often come to find that sober social experiences are much more rewarding, enjoyable, and valuable than their previous idea of “fun.”
- Structure and discipline
Not surprisingly, the lifestyle of an addict is full of chaos and self-indulgence, but group therapy introduces a different way of living. By introducing structure and discipline, group therapy fosters healthy lifestyle changes and provides an environment that is conducive to learning, growing, and changing. The structure also provides an outlet for clients to practice new skills, realize their strengths, and establish new habits.
- A safe and supportive environment
A safe and supportive environment is extremely important for recovery. Group therapy during IOP offers just that. When a person in recovery receives treatment in this type of environment, they are more likely to let down their emotional defenses and break through barriers that have previously kept them from achieving a full recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. As a result, ultimately, a structured and supportive environment also reinforces healthy ways of thinking, behaving, and living.
Group therapy during IOP serves a very clear purpose for people in recovery and has many benefits for clients in sober living homes and other aftercare programs. If you have additional questions about group therapy, IOP, or other continuing care services like a sober living program, call (512) 363-5914 to speak with a Eudaimonia Recovery Homes representative today.