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Group therapy, according to Verywell Mind, “is a form of psychotherapy that involves one or more therapists working with several people at the same time.” Group therapy began when physician Joseph Hersey Pratt who was treating individuals with tuberculosis, found that conducting group sessions benefited members as they were able to provide emotional support to one another in shared experiences. Pratt began referring to his sessions as group psychotherapy. This form of therapy began to increase in popularity following World War II, when groups of combat veterans were treated together, and similar benefits were observed. The American Psychological Association explains that “decades of research, including more than 50 clinical trials, have shown that group therapy is as effective as individual therapy for many conditions.” Common problems that group therapy is designed to target include, but are not limited to individuals with depression, obesity, social anxiety, panic disorder, chronic pain, or substance use disorder. Addiction, clinically known as substance use disorder (SUD), is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a complex, chronic brain disorder. It is characterized by compulsively engaging in rewarding stimuli without regard for consequence.


A publication in the National Library of Medicine suggests that “the natural propensity of human beings to congregate makes group therapy a powerful therapeutic tool for treating substance abuse.” Group sessions offer an emotionally safe and structured environment, providing participants with the opportunity to have positive social interactions with others, foster empathy, and cultivate a sense of comradery within the group. Group therapy can focus on general issues such as anger, shyness, loneliness, and low self-esteem. Participating in group therapy sessions can help create a network of supportive individuals, all sharing a common goal, from which to learn and extend insightful, personally informed guidance. Group therapy can help people acquire a new way of thinking, feeling, and behaving, as it creates a forum for sharing healthy coping mechanisms to deal with daily stressors and common addiction-related challenges. The issues and topics that emerge in group therapy sessions can promote self-empowerment and strengthen one’s motivation for continuing the path of recovery. Group therapy is an excellent place to practice implementing various therapeutic tools to help with behavior modification and the integration of healthy choices that support long-term recovery.  

For Information and Support 

If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding substance abuse and/ or addiction, we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-258-6792. You are also welcomed to contact anytime us via email at admissions@hhtxc.com.