Group therapy is often utilized when treating substance abuse and addiction for a variety of reasons. Group therapy can provide a level of accountability not found in individual therapy. One form of accountability is the use of ?sponsors,? a service that is typically not found in individual therapy. Therapy groups frequently include members who are at varying stages of recovery. This enables group members to interact with others in the therapy group who are struggling with similar issues. Those who are at later stages of recovery can see through the defenses (e.g., minimization, denial, and rationalization) that might be displayed by newer therapy group members. The relapse rates for substance abuse and addiction can be high, and, thus, the cost of treatment can be high. Group therapy provides a cost-effective treatment form by splitting the cost between multiple members.
Sometimes watching something makes the content ?come to life? in a way that reading does not. This week you get an opportunity to watch a movie that incorporates group therapy. More specifically, you analyze group therapy movies that are based on substance abuse or addiction.?
For this Discussion, review one of the suggested movies in this week?s Learning Resources. As you watch, notice how the therapy group might differ from other non-substance or addiction therapy groups. In addition, examine how the dynamics of the therapy group are therapeutic and how this process is different from individual therapy. In particular, keep Yalom?s therapeutic factors in mind, and see how they play out in the film?s therapy group.
With these thoughts in mind:
A brief description of the film you selected. Then, explain why group therapy is an effective treatment for substance abuse or addiction based upon what you saw in the film. Finally, explain which therapeutic factors might have the most benefit for people in group therapy for substance abuse or addiction. Be specific and use the Learning Resources and current literature to support your response.?
Discussion 2: Experience and Effectiveness in Group Therapy
How might clients feel if they discovered that their substance abuse therapist had no personal experience with substance abuse? Would they feel betrayed? Lied to? Would they even care? Does past recovery experience influence the effectiveness of a substance abuse therapist? Therapy is an intensely personal journey, and it is important that clients trust their therapist to successfully guide them through the process.
For this Discussion, review the media titled ?Audio Therapist: Colleague Calling.? Think about how you might respond to your colleague on the phone. Consider the relationship between effectiveness as a therapy group leader and firsthand experience with the recovery process. Use your own words in clear terms, as though you are speaking directly to a colleague.
With these thoughts in mind:
Post by Day 4?your response to the colleague. Include how you would explain to your colleague how she can convey her effectiveness as a group therapist. Provide the rationale for your response to the colleague. Be specific and use the Learning Resources and current literature to support your response.
Colleague Calling
Program Transcript
FEMALE SPEAKER: Thank you so much for taking some time to provide a peer consultation to me. I’ve heard you speak at professional meetings, and I really respect your opinions.
I wanted to get your take on a situation that has come up. In a nutshell, for the last three months at my facility, I’ve been doing group therapy for substance abuse in an intensive outpatient setting. I did a little bit of group work during my training, but that was years ago, so I’m a little rusty. I feel like I’ve been managing fairly well, but there is one group member who has been extremely challenging. Specifically, he keeps asking me if I’ve ever used or had a problem. He turns the focus away from himself, and onto me and my background. I smoked a little pot while in college, and occasionally have a glass of wine with dinner, but that’s about as extreme as I get. So, I see his point, but don’t want him to take over the group. He’s right in that I don’t know what it’s like, so can I still be effective with this population? What should I say to him about my personal use? How should I handle this?


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