Addiction treatment requires a considerable amount of care and effort. Every aspect of treatment can impact the success of a client’s recovery. Individual care is particularly important, as each client will have their own background and challenges.
There is a time and place for larger groups in treatment, such as education or processing for a large family or population. However, smaller groups in treatment are effective as they provide community support while giving each client the care they need to thrive in treatment.
While addiction is a disease that impacts many individuals and families, it differs for each person. Many risk factors affect some and not others, including some of the following.
- Family history of addiction
- Other comorbidities like depression or anxiety disorders
- Early use of substances
The reasons behind addiction can vary greatly, and not all will respond well to the same style and type of treatment. This is why individualized care is so important. Addressing underlying issues that have caused addiction is key to success in treatment and recovery.
With a large group, this can often be lost. Medical professionals, just like all other people, have limited attention. When a group gets too large, it can be impossible for the medical team to notice every individual’s needs and meet them in the way they need.
The Value of Group Therapy
People naturally congregate together, looking for others for companionship and enjoyment. This is part of why group therapy can be so effective for mental health and addiction treatments. In fact, people have intrinsic reward centers which provide reinforcement to stay in the group.
Overall, in groups, people feel less lonely, a part of something bigger than themselves, and seen by others. These are all essential aspects of working with a group. It takes courage to share and become a part of a group, but remember you are not doing it alone. We can support you every step of the way to finding and maintaining sobriety.
Those who are involved in group therapy are more likely to stay sober. By bonding with others in treatment, you are accountable to the group. They witness your progress, allowing you to show parts of yourself you feel shame or anxiety about, and learn to be with it. It is also an effect of the nature of addiction.
Groups help with multiple factors associated with addiction, including the following.
Group Therapy Is Effective
Working with a group in treatment is highly effective. We are social creatures, and treatment that takes that into account is often more successful. It can be challenging to ask for help or share with a group. While the choice is always yours, we encourage you to consider the benefits.
Feeling understood and working with a group where you receive compassion is helpful. At Twilight Recovery Center, we want you to know that you are not alone. Through small group therapy programs, we can help you take the step of sharing and bonding with others.
The Drawbacks of Larger or Smaller Groups
Larger groups, over 12, tend to use a lecture style. Imagine 100 people lined up and listening to a presenter. While the presenter may be a client sharing their story, a group of 100 doesn’t allow for adequate client-to-client interactions. These types of interactions are important as they build a bond with others who can truly empathize. While their story may differ, some likely feel similar to you in some way.
In smaller groups under six, the issue is more about consistency. At some point, some will likely miss a group meeting or not want to participate. Groups below six participants generally do not last and are not as valuable.
Smaller groups also allow for fewer opinions and thoughts. While you may not interact with or connect with everyone in a group, finding a few you feel comfortable with and enjoy sharing with can help you feel connected to the group.
The Perfect Size Group
Group sizes in treatment have a vast range depending on the situation. However, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), groups that range from six to twelve individuals are the most effective.
This size of a group allows each person to be seen for their specific situation and needs. It also is a size where the health care professionals can focus on each member. The beauty of this group size is that it balances the needs of each client while allowing clients to experience and benefit from group therapy.