While individual counseling is one of the strongest and most popular ways to treat alcohol addiction, group alcohol treatment also helps individuals stay off the bottle in a big way. Group therapies are designed to target the main underlying reasons for alcohol addiction, which may include a patient’s behavior and motivations. Some of the most common types of group therapies include peer-group discussions, family therapies and community support therapies.
Peer discussions are an integral part of most rehab centers. Most rehab centers have discussion rooms and divide their patients in different panels to carry out discussions on a periodic basis. Group discussions fall under the “evidence” based therapy paradigm and healthcare professionals usually mentor and facilitate such discussions. The panels consist of a diverse group of addicts from all walks of life who come on a single platform and share their experiences, struggles, and motivations. People can make amends to their existing therapy by hearing about the experiences of others.
The panels involve patients with varying degrees of treatment: inpatient, partial hospitalization, and outpatient programs. Such a diverse group of people can help uplift the overall spirit of the entire group. I have attended a few of these peer group discussions and the conversion rate of these discussions has been phenomenal. In essence, alcoholism is a behavioral/mental issue and a spark of inspiration is enough to turn an addict away from alcohol.
Most addicts alienate relatives and have a complicated relationship with their families. Getting back with the family plays a crucial role for such patients to achieve successful rehab. Family therapy programs often train the family members on how to handle the addict and assist them towards rehab. Patients’ parents and siblings are involved in most family therapy programs.
Family therapy is a two-way process. It not only encourages the addicts to abstain from drinking, also encourages the family members to accept the addict with love and affection. Most addicts are alienated by their family members and this, in turn, catapults the addicts deeper into alcoholism. Family therapy programs are ideal for patients who are reported to have taken to the bottle owing to familial troubles.
Family therapy can be combined with peer-discussions to give the patient a more rounded treatment. Family support can be great for patients who have low self-esteem and undergoing some sort of depression/social alleviation.
Community support programs are ideal for patients who do not want to undergo a family therapy for personal reasons. Some patients do not even have their family members staying nearby. In such cases, a typical alcohol rehab treatment can be supplemented with community support programs. Most of these community support programs help the patients form an accountability partnership that helps them in staying sober for a long time.