Benefits of Group Therapy through experience and effectiveness
Two parts – Please use separate headings and answer questions
Benefits of group Therapy
4-5 pages (approx. 2- 2.5 pages for each heading)
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.Bold only be answered
Analyze a group therapy movie that is based on substance abuse or addiction
(1) How does the therapy group differ from other non-substance or addiction therapy group?
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).
(2) Why is group therapy an effective treatment for substance abuse or addiction based upon what you see in the film?
(3) Which therapeutic factors might have the most benefit for people in group therapy for substance abuse or addiction?
Experience and Effectiveness
(1) How might clients feel if they discovered that their substance abuse therapist had no personal experience with substance abuse?
(2) Would they feel betrayed? Lied to? Would they even care?
(3) Does past recovery experience influence the effectiveness of a substance abuse therapist?
• Suggested movies that showcase group therapy for treating substance abuse/addiction:
o Carouso, T. (Producer), & Cohn, P. (Director). (1995). Drunks [Motion Picture, rated R]. United States: Fox Lorber.
o Costas, C. D., Topping, J. (Producers), & Thomas, B. (Director). (2000). 28 days [Motion Picture, rated PG-13]. United Sates: Columbia Pictures.
o Demme, J., Armain, N., Platt, M. E. (Producers), &Demme, J. (Director). (2008). Rachel getting married [Motion Picture, rated R]. United States: Sony Pictures.
o Howard, R., Daniel, J. (Producers), & Caron, G. G. (Director). (1988). Clean and sober [Motion Picture, rated R]. United States: Imagine Entertainment.
o Papazian, R. A. (Producer), & Greene, D. (Director). (1987). The Betty Ford story [Motion Picture, not rated]. United States: Warner Brothers Television.
o Watson, E., West, P. (Producers), &Aronofsky, D. (Director). (2000). Requiem for a dream[Motion Picture, rated R]. United States: Thousand Words.
• Alternate movies are acceptable, provided they focus on the use of group therapy for treating substance abuse/addiction. Cinematherapy.com is an excellent resource for finding movies on this topic; continue to part two which introduces a transcript of a clinician who seeks advice from a colleague. Small conclusion (about two sentences)
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
Yalom, I. D., & Leszcz, M. (2005).The theory and practice of group psychotherapy (5th ed.). New York: Basic Books.
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