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Group Therapy Program

people sitting in a circle in group therapy program and vacant seat

Group therapy can be essential to addiction recovery or addressing mental health concerns. In a group context, clients can feel like they’re not alone in their struggles. They can gain additional perspectives and practice healthy coping skills among non-judgmental peers. Group therapy participants often report experiencing a feeling of community and reduced stigma about their mental health and addiction battles.

With increased demand for mental wellness and substance abuse intervention, group therapy is an effective method that creates more opportunities for people to get better. Additionally, group therapy effectively complements individual therapy, family therapy, art therapy, and other similar mental health and addiction treatment programs.

All of NuLife Behavioral Health’s treatment programs include group therapy. NuLife Behavioral Health in Worcester MA provides clients with a safe and supportive environment to work through their challenges and feel confident in their everyday lives.

What is Group Therapy?

Group therapy is a therapeutic treatment involving clients with similar concerns. One or more therapists moderate the group and are present to initiate discussions about mental health topics or addiction issues. Therapists serve as resources for teaching healthy coping skills and engage the group in conversations that address the featured topics.

Group therapy is generally formatted according to group member needs to best benefit its participants. At NuLife Behavioral Health Massachusetts, our group therapy program is led by experienced therapists who understand the challenges unique to mental health and addiction recovery.

Creating a comprehensive treatment plan is the goal of NuLife Behavioral Health Massachusetts, and group therapy is part of the well-rounded offerings at our treatment facility. Community and connection are essential when turning a new page in recovery, and we believe in providing the best care possible. We keep group therapy sizes small to ensure they are as personalized as possible to each client’s unique needs and interests.

Types of Group Therapy

Psychoeducational Groups

Also known as “psycho-ed groups,” these specialized groups focus on learning about a chosen mental health or addiction topic and practicing new coping skills to manage symptoms. Psycho-ed groups may process issues and involve seeking support; however, the primary objective is to better understand chosen mental health or addiction topics. The therapist is a crucial player and serves as a teacher more than a facilitator.

Support Groups

NuLife Behavioral Health in Worcester and Framingham offer the 12-step model of support group. Support groups like AA and NA focus on the peer-to-peer connection and developing additional ways to increase accountability. Like psycho-ed groups, support groups center around a common need or life challenge but with less intensive skills practice and more focus on relationships with group members.

Common support groups focus on grief and loss or a shared mental health or medical diagnosis (e.g., anxiety disorders or cancer).

Process-Oriented Groups

The primary purpose of process-oriented or interpersonal process groups is to build healthy coping skills and apply them in a safe environment. Psychosocial role play and discussion can address interactions with family members, friends, and partners. Process-oriented groups can be a place to practice skills for the “real” world.

What Happens in Group Therapy?

For people new to the group therapy format, joining a group can initially be intimidating. Potential participants may feel concerned that someone will judge them, or they may know someone in the group and could feel awkward. Group facilitators can help participants navigate their concerns and find a group most suitable for their needs.

Everyone in the group is working toward addiction recovery and mental health concerns. Before the group meeting, a screening process determines if participants fit the group dynamic and specific goals.

A typical group therapy session differs for each combination of people. Generally speaking, you can expect some basic introductions about what to expect and confidentiality rules. Additionally, there are standard components to group therapy sessions:

  • Your group will meet with your therapist or therapists privately.
  • You can introduce yourself and your reasons for participating in the group and learn about others.
  • The therapist will initiate and continue guiding the topics for that day. The therapist may redirect the conversation or provide activities that help integrate the chosen topics.
  • You can share your experience with the group as you feel comfortable.
  • The therapist will wrap up the group session by asking if people have questions, feedback, or comments. Therapists often provide reminders about confidentiality and how to apply group session takeaways to your regular life.

Why is Group Therapy Beneficial?

Group therapy benefits many people pursuing help with mental health concerns or addiction recovery. According to the American Psychological Association, group therapy is as effective as individual therapy.

A supportive group setting is as beneficial as other therapy formats. Substance abuse and mental health issues make people feel isolated, but group therapy helps people feel less alone.

Group participants are also able to gain the following benefits of group therapy:

  • Gain new perspectives from interacting with peers and new ways to approach difficult life circumstances.
  • Share and hear about experiences and challenging feelings with others who understand.
  • Find their voice by becoming more aware of their feelings and increase confidence in expressing their needs.
  • Learn and apply healthy coping mechanisms.
  • Develop a support network and safety net for when life becomes tough to handle or when addiction relapse feels possible.
  • Feel validated and encouraged by people who have experienced something similar.

What Conditions Can Benefit from Group Therapy?

A therapy program using group therapy can treat various conditions, including:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Anxiety and panic disorders
  • Grief and loss
  • Substance use disorder (SUD)
  • Eating disorders
  • Phobias
A guy thinking and wants to ask questions in a group meeting

Frequently Asked Questions About Group Therapy

● What is the primary goal of group therapy?

For most groups, the main goal is to help members feel a sense of solidarity or relatability through feeling understood and seen. This is achieved by sharing and listening to similar experiences in a safe and confidential setting. Therapy groups are formed around a specific topic to facilitate open discussions about experiences all group members have endured or challenges they want to work on.

● How do you prepare for group therapy?

A key to preparing for group therapy is having an open mind. Openness, taking risks by being vulnerable in sharing, and being willing to try new skills and perspectives are all part of the group therapy process. These values help group therapy participants walk away feeling changed for the better.

● What techniques are used in group therapy?

Various techniques are used specific to the group demographic. Some common methods are role-playing (psychodrama), experiential activities, and group discussions facilitated by therapists. The approaches center around the particular group’s needs, but all aim to encourage open communication and mutual support among participants.

Therapy Options at NuLife Behavioral Health Worcester Massachusetts

One-on-One Counseling

Individual therapy sessions with a licensed mental health professional help explore the psychological factors contributing to your addiction. Techniques such as mindfulness and stress management are often taught to help you gain better control over your impulses and reactions.

Group Support Sessions

These communal settings offer a platform for mutual support, allowing you to learn from others who have the same or similar issues and disorders. Topics covered often include life skills training, emotional well-being, and strategies for preventing relapse.

Family Involvement

Including family members in the recovery process will improve your support network. The focus is often on enhancing interpersonal skills and fostering a supportive home environment.

Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders

We offer individualized treatment plans for those with additional mental health issues alongside substance addiction. This holistic approach treats both the addiction and any accompanying mental health challenges, offering a more comprehensive recovery path.

Intensive Outpatient Options

Our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is an option for clients who have completed more intensive treatment, such as partial hospitalization, or require a more flexible schedule. The intensive outpatient program combines both individual and group therapy sessions, educational groups, and relapse prevention modules. IOP lasts for 2-3 hours a day, 2 to 3 days a week.

Partial Hospitalization Programs

NuLife Behavioral Health’s partial hospitalization program is a great option for those who have completed an inpatient rehab or detox, but still need the daily support and structure of treatment. PHP requires more time than our other outpatient services—approximately 4 to 5 hours a day, 5 days a week. Like intensive outpatient participants, persons in partial hospitalization will go home in the evening.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

TMS is a research-supported, non-invasive treatment approved by the FDA for use with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and PTSD. These disorders can occur on their own or along with addiction, a condition referred to as dual diagnosis. TMS uses focused magnetic fields to stimulate groups of nerves within the brain that are underactive. TMS sessions take place on an outpatient basis and require no downtime. A person can have a TMS session and go back to their daily routine immediately. TMS treatments show increasingly promising results in managing symptoms related to mental health disorders and substance abuse disorders alike.

How Can I Find Group Therapy Near Me?

NuLife Behavioral Health in Framingham and Worcester MA offers group therapy individualized for you. If you or your loved one are considering a treatment program, contact NuLife Behavioral Health Massachusetts today to learn more.

Find a Path Forward at NuLife Behavioral Health Massachusetts

If you or your loved one is struggling with addiction or mental health concerns, know that you are not alone. The team at NuLife Behavioral Health Massachusetts is here to help you on your journey to recovery. We offer a variety of evidence-based treatment programs, including group therapy, that can help you find a path forward.

To learn more about our group therapy program or any of the other services we offer, contact us today at 888.568.2057.

Medically Reviewed by Riaz Rahman