Substance Abuse Group Topics

Support groups and their activities can offer participants new insights and meaningful experiences on their road to recovery. Group therapy can be used to explore and process a member’s triumphs, challenges, and relapses. Talking about these experiences in a group setting will not only benefit the client experiencing them, but also other members of the group who can learn from their experience. This can include learning to cope with uncomfortable emotions and situations.

substance abuse group activities

Feeling as though there’s something wrong with you and feeling shame because of it can keep you caught in the cycle. 17 helpful questions to ask teenage clients, helping therapists foster a strong client relationship and enable their patients to be open, honest, and communicative. Designed to be intuitive and easily grasped, these tasks will improve engagement and strengthen your client relationships. Incorporate these useful worksheets and activities and help your clients grow their confidence. Designed to promote positive awareness of good qualities, these tools will see your clients’ self-worth and self-esteem improve significantly.

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy Worksheets Bundle

The suitability of a client for a skills development group will depend on the unique needs of the individual along with the skills being taught. Most clients can benefit from developing or enhancing certain general skills, such as controlling powerful emotions or improving refusal skills when around people using alcohol or illicit drugs. Skills might substance abuse group activities also be highly specific to certain clients, such as relaxation training. Coping skills training groups (the most common type of skills development group) attempt to cultivate the skills people need to achieve and maintain abstinence. Most people, at one time or another, have had unpleasant experiences in traditional, formal classroom environments.

Substance abuse treatment counselors may find it useful to explore these approaches for techniques appropriate to their specific client populations. As a result, resistance to change inevitably will occur as the group evolves and behavioral changes begin to become routine. Experienced leaders learn to recognize, respect, and work with the resistance instead of simply confronting it. Clinical supervision is quite beneficial in learning a variety of styles of working with resistance generated by growth and change. Treatment manuals—providing specific protocols for intervention techniques—may be helpful in some, though not all, cognitive—behavioral groups.

Final Thoughts on Selecting Group Therapy Activities for Your Clients with Substance Abuse

They give participants the opportunity to learn from peers, and to grow alongside one another. This activity can help establish a strong sense of community and understanding among members of the support group. It allows participants to express their fears and goals in a safe space without judgment.

The program here at Two Dreams focuses on the improvement of one’s life through the achievement of mental peace, physical well-being, and personal productivity. We particularly emphasize mindfulness, the concept of intentionally paying attention, and being present in the moment with compassion, with acceptance, and without judgment. Every two weeks our clients engage in “group phase therapy” in which each individual reports on which phase they think they’re currently working on in their personal recovery journey.

Group Therapy Activities for Substance Abuse & Relapse Prevention

Many recovery groups make affirmation collages by writing down positive statements, cutting them into strips, and gluing the strips onto poster boards. Mindfulness is the practice of observing the present moment without judgment. It can boost your sense of well-being and help you cope with drug cravings and other recovery-related challenges. In addition, they help new members view the group as an open, supportive environment. These groups use a variety of activities to help people recover together. Other groups consider themselves as closed, so new members may only join when a new group forms.

These groups also have roots in the realization that significant lifestyle change is the long-term goal in treatment and that support groups can play a major role in such life transitions. Self-help groups share many of the tenets of support groups—unconditional acceptance, inward reflection, open and honest interpersonal interaction, and commitment to change. These groups attempt to help people with dependencies sustain abstinence without necessarily understanding the determinants of their dependence (Cooper 1987).