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Group Counseling for Treating Substance Use Disorders

If you are looking to get sober, you should know how group counseling is for treating substance use disorders. So get on the path to sobriety.

Not only is group therapy and counseling an extremely effective component of most addiction treatment programs, but it is also a tool commonly used in continuous aftercare – and one that has proven extremely effective in maintaining long-term sobriety. In most inpatient or residential drug and alcohol rehab facilities, group counseling will be utilized alongside a wide range of other therapeutic modalities, including individual and family therapy. In addition, treatment programs should incorporate holistic and medicinal treatment when necessary – though the holistic components taught during inpatient treatment will pave the way for a lifetime of fulfilled sobriety.

This type of counseling has several different forms. It can come in group therapy sessions, support groups, or groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs that specifically focus on continued substance recovery. Depending on your personal needs, continuing with group counseling after your initial treatment program will prove extremely beneficial. Many resources confirm that group therapy and counseling are essential to successful treatment for substance abuse, addiction, and mental health. At Absolute Awakenings, we heavily emphasize utilizing group counseling as a predominant part of our overall addiction recovery program.

Why is Group Counseling Important?

Group therapy is extremely beneficial for several reasons. While individual therapy is also important, group therapy has some different benefits. For example, individual therapy allows patients to open up without fear of peer judgment. On the other hand, facing the fear of peer judgment ultimately builds self-esteem and fosters healthy and lasting peer relationships. Some additional advantages of group counseling include the following:

  • Group leaders can cater to the group’s specific needs, collectively teaching them important facts, skills, and coping mechanisms.
  • Peers within the group can provide one another with support, encouragement, and motivation. It is also true that if an individual in the group makes a mistake and shares about it, other members of the group are more liable to learn from that mistake without having to make it themselves.
  • Peers work together to develop problem-solving skills.
  • It has been found that offering effective support to other group members helps build self-esteem and feelings of self-worth. Encouraging others feels good.
  • Meeting regularly with a counseling group will help to enforce structure and build a routine. The same goes for all structured therapeutic sessions in inpatient and outside treatment. The structure skills learned in group therapy sessions will translate to skills that are carried over into independent living, and structure will be maintained in 12-step programs.
  • Those who regularly participate in group counseling sessions will likely develop relationships with their peers – relationships that will ultimately teach them how to be supportive and make healthy friends.
  • Because one group counselor or therapist will facilitate an entire group, individuals will have more regular access to the necessary therapeutic services.
  • It is proven that positive behavior modification occurs more quickly in a group setting.

Absolute Awakenings Counseling

Because no two experiences with drug or alcohol addiction are the same, no two journeys of addiction recovery should be identical. However, we incorporate group counseling into our highly individualized treatment programs at Absolute Awakenings. We understand the value of group counseling. Additionally, we sincerely believe that every one of our clients can benefit from meeting with a group of like-minded peers regularly and sharing struggles and triumphs in a safe and supportive environment. Please reach out today to learn more about Absolute Awakenings and our comprehensive addiction recovery program. We look forward to speaking with you soon and answering any questions you may have.


  1. Lo Coco G, Melchiori F, Oieni V, et al. Group treatment for substance use disorder in adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized-controlled trials. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2019;99:104-116. doi:10.1016/j.jsat.2019.01.016
  2. Kelly JF, Humphreys K, Ferri M. Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs for alcohol use disorder. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2020;3(3):CD012880. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD012880.pub2
  3. Aafjes-van Doorn K, Kealy D, Ehrenthal JC, Ogrodniczuk JS, Joyce AS, Weber R. Improving self-esteem through integrative group therapy for personality dysfunction: Investigating the role of the therapeutic alliance and quality of object relations. J Clin Psychol. 2019;75(12):2079-2094. doi:10.1002/jclp.22832

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At Absolute Awakenings, we take information integrity seriously. We have dedicated our resources to ensure that all content published to our blog is medically sound. As such, all content on our blog has been thoroughly reviewed by a doctorate level clinician such as a Medical Doctor, or Psy.D, so that you can trust all of the data we publish.

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