The Importance of Group Therapy in Addiction Treatment

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Group therapy and the experiential group therapy activities often involved are a mainstay for those who desire to overcome substance abuse forever. While both individual and group therapy are designed to help individuals gain insight, learn healthier coping skills, and work through challenging issues, group therapy has many unique benefits that complement individual therapy. That’s why group therapy is so important.

What is Group Therapy?

Group therapy, in a nutshell, is therapy that involves two or more individuals at the same time – in addition to the therapist – rather than one person in recovery working one-on-one with a therapist. Participants in a therapy group take turns talking about their struggles, feelings, experiences, and goals. Therapy groups may be tailored to a specific recovery topic, such as how to recognize and avoid triggers, or they may be general, such as how to handle difficult family, peer, work, or other interpersonal relationships.

Group Therapy and Addiction Treatment are Natural Allies

The group therapy process allows you to benefit from your interactions with other group members, not just from the input of and interaction with the therapist. In individual therapy you may wonder if the therapist has ever walked in your shoes and can even begin to truly understand what you’re going through. In group therapy for alcohol or substance use disorders, however, you’re guaranteed to have at least one thing in common with the people in your group: your alcohol or substance use disorder.

The effectiveness of group therapy in the treatment of substance abuse also can be attributed to the nature of addiction and several factors associated with it, including (but not limited to) depression, anxiety, isolation, denial, shame, temporary cognitive impairment, and character pathology (personality disorder, structural deficits, or an incohesive sense of self). Whether a person abuses substances or not, these problems often respond better to group treatment than to individual therapy. Group therapy is also effective because people are fundamentally relational creatures.

Advantages of Group Treatment

  • Group Therapy provides positive peer support and pressure to abstain from substances of abuse. 
  • Groups reduce the sense of isolation that most people who have substance abuse disorders experience. 
  • Groups enable people who abuse substances to witness the recovery of others. 
  • Groups help members learn to cope with their substance abuse and other problems by allowing them to see how others deal with similar problems. 
  • Groups can provide useful information to clients who are new to recovery. 
  • Groups provide feedback concerning the values and abilities of other group members. 
  • Groups offer family‐like experiences. 
  • Groups offer members the opportunity to learn or relearn the social skills they need to cope with everyday life instead of resorting to substance abuse. 
  • Groups can effectively confront individual members about substance abuse and other harmful behaviors.
  • Groups allow a single treatment professional to help a number of clients at the same time.
  • Groups can add needed structure and discipline to the lives of people with substance use disorders, who often enter treatment with their lives in chaos.
  • Groups often support and provide encouragement to one another outside the group setting.

This is why group therapy and support groups are avenues everyone on the road to recovery should explore. If you want to find out more, be sure to give us a call at Oak Forest Recovery on (805) 390-6647

Sources

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64223/

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    Recovery Through Experiential Therapy in Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village and Agoura Hills, North of Los Angeles, California

    Experiential therapy provides hands-on activities to help you recover from a drug or alcohol addiction. In this treatment method, you’ll experience these life-changing therapies, learning about yourself and your addiction through physical pursuits. In addition, this type of therapy helps you work through your feelings and emotions while enjoying new ways of keeping yourself focused and healthy.

    Throughout the rehab and recovery process, people often find themselves wrestling with complicated thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. To help them succeed, addiction treatment specialists use a combination of medical care, talk therapy sessions, and skill-building. When we think about treatment, we tend to think of things like 12-step programs and cognitive behavioral therapy. These are powerful methods that consistently get results, but there’s another method that can be extremely valuable called experiential therapy.

    How Does Experiential Therapy Work?

    Overall, experiential therapy helps young adults struggling with drug or alcohol addiction work through their feelings and emotions. Fortunately, you’ll feel like you’re not even going through therapy. This is because experiential therapies take place in comfortable environments like the outdoors or a creative studio. Oak Forest Recovery in Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills, Westlake Village provides experiential therapies for addiction recovery. These include:

    • Nature or Wilderness Therapy
    • Art Therapy
    • Music Therapy
    • Animal Assisted

    There are therapies that can enhance a treatment program through dealing with these challenging emotions and issues. Experiential therapy can help draw out and process memories or issues that may contribute to the person’s substance abuse without the person’s awareness. Experiential therapy can be a beneficial addition to a treatment program for people who are having trouble expressing the feelings behind addictive behaviors. 

    If you or a young adult you love suffer from addiction and to learn more about experiential therapy at Oak Forest Recovery, call (805) 390-6647.

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      Sober Living Homes in Los Angeles County

      Sober living is an incredibly valuable tool for recovery, as it allows recent inpatient clients (and some intensive outpatient clients) to live in a drug- and alcohol-free home with other individuals who are focused on recovery. Sober living is especially helpful for those transitioning out of rehab centers who would prefer to start out in a safe, temptation-free environment.

      For most clients, sober living at Oak Forest Recovery becomes an option after the initial residential treatment portion of the program is successfully completed. Within the structure of sober living, each client is equipped to effectively integrate their sober foundation with real-life fundamentals. Each Men & Women’s house is managed by a full-time house manager, and the purpose of each house is to offer clients the practical support of living sober on their own.

      The life of recovery is one that is built over time, and we believe in a commitment to daily, healthy habits that are established with repetition and discipline. Within the family environment, clients find that returning to work, school, and daily life is more easily accomplished in the presence of like-minded people.

      What are Sober Living Homes?

      A sober living home is a specialized residence designed to provide a safe, substance-free environment for those recovering from drug or alcohol addiction. Residents cook, clean, manage finances, and take care of other everyday responsibilities independently, just as they would in any other home. Residents live, eat, socialize, and attend 12-step meetings together as roommates, supporting one another through the challenges of maintaining their newfound sobriety.

      At Oak Forest Recovery , we recognize that not all clients will be ready to return to “normal life” right away. We also recognize that the journey of recovery for each client has its own unique pace. Once a client is accepted to a sober living house, he or she is welcome to stay for as long as needed, even if it takes years.

      If you need transitional living space after an inpatient rehab program, you may be struggling to decide between living with loved ones or applying for a place in a sober living facility. To determine whether sober living is a good fit for you, call us today at (805) 390-6647. Our 24/7 support team provides the tools you need to walk away from addiction. Begin your recovery journey today!

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        Mantras For Addiction Recovery

        While the word mantra originated as a Hindu “sacred utterance,” people use mantras every day to guide their efforts at home, at work, and at school. The popular culture definition of mantra has evolved to mean repetitive slogan, personal truth, or structured thought. Adopting one or more mantras as part of your addiction recovery experience is a focused way to achieve your objectives and remain motivated. Words have a powerful way of changing behaviors, thought patterns, and emotions over time. Consider mantras a tool in your toolbox: useful for chanting when you are tempted to use or for achieving focused calm during meditation.

        Mantras for Drug & Alcohol Treatment

        I am a worthwhile, deserving person. By undervaluing themselves, addicts spiral into a dangerous pattern of self-deprecation and low self-esteem. Use this mantra as a reminder that you are lovable, valuable, and deserving of wellness and joy.

        I am in control of my life. At first, these words may seem hollow. After all, most addicts feel as if their lives are spinning out of control with drugs and alcohol in the driver’s seat. Use this mantra to take a stand. Addiction does not control you; you are in control of your destiny and you have a supportive rehabilitation team ready to help.

        I am not alone. Feelings of isolation can quickly give way to destructive behaviors. When you are in the grip of loneliness, remind yourself of this truth and call on your community of family, friends, and counselors to help you avoid making a negative choice.

        I am making progress. While your steps may seem small, you are moving in the right direction when you seek addiction treatment. Live in the moment, celebrating small triumphs and reminding yourself that each forward step takes you further from the bondage of addiction and toward the freedom of sobriety.

        I will not give in to my drug or alcohol craving today. While it is important to acknowledge that sobriety is a lifelong effort, getting through today is the most important thing on your agenda. Chant this mantra when you are feeling tempted to drink or use drugs. Meditate on it when you are in the middle of a stressful situation. Resisting substance use today fuels you to take another stand tomorrow.

        Oak Forest Recovery Addiction Treatment Program

        At Oak Forest Recovery, our comprehensive, clinically driven program meets young adults where they are and helps them rehabilitate their body, mind, and spirit. To learn more holistic techniques for making behavioral change and achieving long-term sobriety, call 805-390-6647 or email info@oakforestrecovery.com. Our 24/7 support team provides the tools you need to walk away from addiction. Begin your recovery journey today!

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          The Advantages Of Sober Living After Treatment

          For many recovering addicts, and particularly for young people, the transition back home from a treatment facility can be a very challenging time. Experts note that most relapses occur within the first 90 days of the recovery period, with the home environment being especially difficult for a variety of reasons. For some young adults, the stresses and dynamics of the home environment can be a root cause of substance abuse and addictive behavior. For others, feelings of having failed or disappointed loved ones can send the recovering patient back into the cycle of addiction.

          To help ease this sometimes-difficult transition, addiction counselors may recommend sober living houses. These specialized facilities offer many advantages to recovering addicts whose personal situations may make returning home challenging.

          Sober Living Houses: Benefits for Recovering Addicts

          While some patients find it challenging to make an abrupt return from a treatment facility back into the home environment, addiction experts unanimously agree that recovering individuals need structured environments to reinforce the skills, lessons and strategies learned during the intensive counseling period. Study after study has shown that recovering addicts are at much greater risk of relapsing when they lack a stable, substance-free living environment during the critical months following treatment.

          Sober living houses provide just this type of environment. Many responsible, well-run halfway houses require residents to adhere to sobriety contracts, which may include screenings and tests to make sure agreed-upon terms and conditions are being honored. To help residents meet their obligations, onsite support services are readily available. They are also highly structured: demanding that residents be employed, enrolled in school or volunteering while participating in ongoing group therapy programs.

          When combined, these features help boost the recovering addict’s chances of making it through the critical first months without a relapse. At Oak Forest Recovery Center, we employ a multimodal treatment strategy built on a clinically dynamic treatment model, taking advantage of every available advantage to promote the health and recovery of our patients. If you or someone you love is suffering from addiction, we have the skills, resources and experience to help. To learn more, please contact our team by phone or confidential email today.

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            What Needs To Be Understood About Drug Abuse And Addiction

            If effective, sustained recovery from drug abuse is to be achieved, it will help the addicted young adult and their parents to develop a better understanding of the nature of addiction, including clearing up some persistent misconceptions. Many parents inquiring about the services of a young adult rehab in California may initially imagine their child to be lacking in the moral principles or willpower that they presume to be necessary to achieve a change in behavior.

            The truth is that drug addiction is a complicated disease, recovery depending on so much more than a strong will or sound intentions. Even those who desire to stop using can find the process extremely difficult, due to the changes that drugs cause in the brain that simply increase the likelihood of further compulsive drug abuse.

            Scientific breakthroughs over the years have given us a much-improved understanding of the effects that drugs have on the brain, making it easier for us to devise effective treatments based on a well-informed, evidence-based clinical approach. This is crucial, given just how damaging drug abuse and addiction are for both individuals and society as a whole – encompassing family disintegration, academic failure, loss of employment, child abuse, domestic violence…to name a few things that may occur.

            It is vital that parents and young adults like to realize the true nature of addiction as a chronic, often lapsing brain disease. Although the affected person may initially take drugs voluntarily, the brain changes that this causes over time adversely impacts on that person’s self-control, making it harder and harder for them to resist what may become very intense drug-taking impulses.

            There is no single factor that dictates a young adult’s likelihood of becoming addicted to drugs, although individual biology, age or stage of development and social environment can all have an effect on the level of risk. But when a person does begin to use drugs, certain chemicals can tap into the communication system of their brain and cause disruption to their nerve cells’ sending, receiving and processing of information.

            The good news is that in common with such other chronic, relapsing diseases like diabetes, heart disease or asthma, drug addiction can be successfully managed. Through the right combination of addiction treatment medications and behavioral therapy, or another treatment approach appropriately tailored to the young adult’s drug abuse patterns and any co-occurring problems, that person can achieve a sustainable return to a happy, healthy and productive life.

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              How To Respond If You Suspect Drug Addiction In Your Young Adult

              Have you noticed your young adult or adolescent behaving differently recently, with no obvious explanation? Perhaps they always seem to be tired, hostile or depressed? Alternatively, they may simply appear withdrawn. If this is the case, your loved one may have a drug-related problem necessitating the right attention – such as from a young adult rehab program.

              It’s easy for even conscientious parents to overlook all manner of behaviors and changes in their young adult as simply a normal part of puberty. However, if you see particularly unexplainable signs as mentioned above, potentially along with such others as a decline in academic performance, change in peer group or carelessness towards personal hygiene, they may have a developing addiction to alcohol or drugs.

              Other potential first signs of a problem that may require the intervention of a young adult rehab program include deteriorating family and friend relationships, changing eating or sleeping habits, trouble with school or the law, missing school classes or work and/or decreased interest in favorite activities.

              The important thing in identifying such signs is to intervene quickly. Recent scientific advances have taught us about the effects of drugs on the brain, with one of the most crucial of these lessons being that addiction in young people can be best treated at the earliest stages.

              Even in cases of more established addiction, a young adult rehab program and associated help can be highly effective in leading your adolescent back to a healthy and productive life. The changes wrought on the brain from repeated drug use can make it difficult for those who feel ready to quit to do so. Your young adult should know that their drug abuse is an illness that requires treatment, not a moral failing.

              The first step for parents or guardians wishing to help their young adult is to seek help from a professional. You may initially decide to bring your loved one to a doctor, so that they can be screened for signs of drug abuse and other associated health issues. Your chosen doctor should be comfortable with this kind of screening – otherwise, you should request a referral to a doctor with skills in this area.

              Your loved one may be subsequently referred to a relevant young adult rehab program – or you could get in touch with one directly. The right rehab program will be able to provide the best-tailored care, courtesy of suitably seasoned and skilled professionals in young adult drug addiction treatment, addressing both substance abuse and underlying emotional issues.

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                Oak Forest Recovery, One Of The Leading Addiction Rehab Centers In Los Angeles, California

                It can be an immense source of worry if there is a young adult in your life who is struggling with substance abuse and co-occurring mental health issues. In such a circumstance, you may have started looking up addiction rehab centers in Southern California, in the hope of finding one that uses research-supported clinical methodologies as part of a program with a strong record for ensuring long-term patient recovery.

                Oak Forest Recovery is just such a program. Its committed team combines evidence-based practices with adventure therapy, resulting in a treatment modality that is as profoundly effective as it is distinctively engaging. The clinical care delivered by Oak Forest Recovery prizes respect, dignity and compassion, and seeks to empower clients to discover their innate goodness, talents and self-worth. The result is genuinely sustainable, positive change.

                The program also distinguishes itself from other addiction rehab centers in California by way of its unique location in Agoura Hills & Westlake Village, CA. The program is staffed by leaders and managers with proven backgrounds and expertise in the integration of adventure therapy, substance abuse and mental health treatment into successful and cutting-edge recovery programs.

                Oak Recovery Center provides separate gender-specific treatment programs for young men and women, and blends such elements as adventure therapy, experiential therapy, clinical care, 12-step programming and social skills development. The program also marks itself out from alternative addiction rehab centers in California through its exclusive focus on young adults, making it the only program of its kind in the United States.

                The gender separate nature of the programs is in recognition of the unique ways men and women experience addiction, with the social reinforcers of substance abuse, the disorders accompanying addiction, the biological factors of dependence and triggers for relapse all differing between the genders. These differences are all factored into a truly tailored recovery process addressing men and women’s specific social, biological, emotional and spiritual needs.

                The program, on a beautiful campus, enables clients to step away from the usual everyday distractions and reflect inwardly. From individual, group and adventure-based therapy to goal setting, family work and boundary setting, the Oak Forest Recovery program incorporates all of the elements required for long-lasting recovery, and a life lived to the full, free from the hugely damaging consequences of alcohol and drug abuse.

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