Group Therapy

At Next Chapter, patients participate in several groups daily. We believe group therapy is a significant and wonderful format for our patients to learn, build relationships, strengthen intimacy, heighten self-awareness, reduce shame and challenge distorted beliefs systems. Those suffering from addictions and trauma do not need to feel alone. Group therapy is an important component of the healing process.

Group therapy is a form of psychotherapy in which one or more therapists treat a small group of patients together as a group. The term can legitimately refer to any form of psychotherapy when delivered in a group format, including several approaches and interventions including Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Reality Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy and Psychodynamic Therapy, however it is usually applied in such a way where the group context and group process is explicitly utilized as a mechanism of change by developing, exploring and examining interpersonal relationships within the group.

Group therapy allows patients to receive support from people with similar life experiences. Addiction and childhood trauma often lead to feelings of loneliness, depression, and inadequacy, group therapy can help the individual achieve a positive self-image through affirmation and identification within the group.

Group Therapy sessions are an integral part of Next Chapter’s comprehensive treatment program. With differing degrees of childhood issues, developmental issues and attachment injuries, group therapy allows patients to become free from the pain of trauma and addiction by helping them realize that they are not alone, and that with the support of those just like themselves learn to trust and open up to others. Group sessions allow patients to identify with their peers and gain insight into where their negative choices and behaviors may have stemmed from.

Group therapy is provided to address a variety of issues and reach a range of therapeutic goals. Some of the topics addressed include substance abuse and other addictions, domestic violence, divorce, childhood abuse, depression, anxiety, PTSD, and issues surrounding eating and body image.

 

Next Chapter employs several types of group therapy models in our treatment model.

  • Psycho-educational groups – Are groups where the focus is to teach about the nature of substance abuse, addictions, truama, mental health issues, and other dysfunctional behaviors, including the effects on the body, the brain, emotional development and intimate relationships.
  • Process groups – Groups which are less structured and offer more interaction between group members than educational groups. Process groups give patients an opportunity to discuss or process what is on their minds with the rest of the group and the therapist. Some process groups the therapist will ask the group to focus on a specific theme or topic. Group members share about their experiences related to that theme or topic. New emotional skills develop through interaction with other group members and patients learn to identify and express their emotions in a safe and a healing way. During process groups patients are encouraged to interact with each other through identification and relating to each other. Group therapists encourage patients to experience their emotions deeply and openly in a safe and supportive environment.
  • Experiential groups – As its name indicates, experiential therapy involves actions, movements, and activities rather than the more traditional “talk therapy.” Experiential therapy helps patients identify subconscious issues through the use of guided imagery, the use of props or tools, role playing and other active experiences. Examples of Experiential therapy that are used at Next Chapter include expressive arts therapy, music therapy, inner child work, empty chair work and psychodrama.
  • Support groups – These groups allow patients to freely open up and discuss their issues outside of the treatment environment. 12 Step support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous offer our patients an opportunity to create a supportive network of friends and sponsors. Support groups provide accountability and serve as a way to challenge excuses that may encourage a return to addictive behavior and relapse

Group therapy is a shared therapeutic experience involving the presence of a trained professional and other patients working together through similar issues. This collaborative form of healing can focus on interpersonal relationships or on particular concerns shared by group members.

The broader concept of group therapy can be taken to include any helping process that takes place in a group, including support groups, skills training groups (such as anger management, mindfulness, relaxation training or social training), and psycho-education groups.

At Next Chapter patients work through their problems with relationships, family and substance abuse in individual sessions with primary therapists, then have an opportunity to process their discomfort and pain with like individuals during group therapy, to access additional support and healing work. Participants are able to process their pain in group sessions, and find discussing their problems with those who can offer genuine empathy gives them a sense of belonging and encouragement.

Additionally, group therapy provides support and direction for others struggling with the same issues they have faced in the past. No matter the focus of the group, change occurs as patients move through various stages of development. As patients begin to get to know themselves and the other members on a deeper level, working through conflicts as they come up, their experiences in the group become increasingly restorative.

The group therapist is responsible for maintaining a professional, respectful, and ethical environment free from discrimination, sexual inappropriateness, or other behaviors that could cause a patient to feel uncomfortable or threatened. It is the therapist’s role to ensure that the group therapy progresses in a nonjudgmental, collaborative, and productive fashion for all involved.

Small Group sessions encourage patients to establish relationships with other group members, creating the experience of honest friendships and improved self-awareness. As patients form a community and learn from one another other, they realize the need to change and embrace the counselors’ and therapists’ teachings. People who struggle with alcoholism, addiction and trauma aren’t alone. Small Group sessions allow patients to learn and grow together, strengthening the healing process.

 

Next Chapter treats patients from all over the United States and in our back yard of Delray, West Palm Beach and Boca Raton, FL.

90 Days ago, with little hope and feelings of total helplessness, I drove my son from New York to Next Chapter on a recommendation from our District Attorney’s office. We were meet with an instant feeling of understanding and renewed hope. Addiction is a life-long battle, but with the understanding, therapy and commitment that was given at Next Chapter I feel cautiously optimistic regarding my son’s recovery. Next Chapter and their staff I regard as high level professionals.
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Next Chapter Treatment