Dealing with addiction can be a difficult task to tackle on your own. That’s why there are so many different kinds of support groups available for people who are receiving addiction treatment. By developing new skills for managing addiction and being surrounded by positive people, the road to recovery can go a little smoother. Skills development groups are one type of group therapy that specializes in teaching various life skills to individuals who are suffering from substance abuse.
How Skills Development Helps with Treatment
Skills development groups help people in the addiction recovery process by equipping them with the skills they need to achieve long-term recovery.
These groups are beneficial for two main reasons:
- Skills development groups can help individuals overcome their addiction. Learning new ways of thinking and behaving can contribute to getting a person out of their addiction. People who are suffering from substance abuse must learn healthier ways of living, and what a healthy relationship looks like. They will be able to diagnose the causes of their problems and come up with appropriate methods to solve them. For example, learning about healthy eating habits can make the individual more aware of the substances that they are putting into their bodies.
- Skills development groups can help to decrease the individual’s chances of relapse in the future. The person will be able to take the skills they’ve learned in the treatment process and take them throughout their life. This diminishes their chances of relapse (according to the NIDA, there is a 40 to 60 percent relapse rate). In other words, when life gets complicated down the road, they will be able to use the skills they’ve learned in treatment to get through life’s challenging obstacles. This decreases their chances of feeling the need to turn back to their substances; they will have learned better ways to manage their stress.
What Kinds of Independent Skills are Learned from These Groups?
In skills development groups, individuals learn how to:
- Manage stress
- Deal with drug cravings
- Control their anger
- Practice self-care
- Avoid peer pressure
- Effectively address conflicts
- Be independent of others
- Find and maintain healthy relationships
- Deal with anxiety/depression
- Communicate with others
What Kinds of Relationship Skills are Learned from These Groups?
The motivation that individuals receive from their fellow group members allow them to believe that they can achieve long-term sobriety.
Here are eleven elements that individuals learn by working in groups:
- Instilling Hope — group members rely on the support of the other members to stay motivated and hopeful for a successful recovery.
- Universality — individuals in group therapy, gain awareness of other people’s problems and realize that they are not the only person in the world dealing with their issues.
- Imparting Information — group members learn about addiction, addiction recovery, and how to avoid relapse. They can hear what worked for some people and do not work for others so they can find the best solutions for themselves.
- Altruism — by giving other group members advice and helping them with their situations, a sense of self-esteem can develop in the individual and may allow them to form a sense of purpose.
- Corrective recapitulation of the primary family group — being involved in group therapy can emit a feeling of family and belonging. Members may feel that they can resolve their problems in the group unlike they could with their actual families.
- Developing social techniques — members learn appropriate communication skills when collaborating with the other team members.
- Imitative behavior — when an individual in the group therapy sees another member in a place that they want to be, they realize that their destination is possible.
- Interpersonal learning — individuals may begin to be less judgmental of others when they hear the stories of other people.
- Group cohesiveness — group members, may begin to feel close to the other people in their group from hearing their stories and sharing insight.
- Catharsis — people in the group therapy will begin to relieve emotions that they have been holding in for a long time, allowing them to feel better.
- Existential factors — members will learn to be honest with themselves, the group leaders, and the other members of the group. This may make them face harsh realities that they have been pushing aside.
Why Should You Consider Skills Development Groups?
Skills development groups help people who are in the addiction recovery process to develop the skills they need to overcome substance abuse and prevent relapse. The skills learned in these groups will benefit the individual when obstacles arise in the future. Having support from other people is necessary for long-term recovery!