A large percentage of individuals who suffer from addictions also deal with co-occurring mental health disorders. Examples include anxiety or depression. Therapists at rehab centers find that group therapies for depression and addiction treatment work well. Here’s what you need to know today.

Understanding A Dual Diagnosis

Smiling group session have used group therapies for depressionWhen you’re struggling with an addiction, you’re dealing with a disease of the brain. It’s chronic, which means that it responds well to treatment. For this reason, you seek help at a rehab center. Once there, some program participants learn that they’re also dealing with a co-occurring psychiatric disorder.

You may have started using drugs or alcohol to self-medicate because of the condition. Alcohol might have numbed you enough to keep intrusive thoughts at bay. Stimulant drugs may have helped you get out of bed and get moving. When you want to quit the drugs, you also need to deal with your reasons for taking them.

Treating co-occurring disorders is possible with a variety of modalities. Pharmacological support is a key to healing. You also will attend group therapies for depression. By some studies, group cognitive behavioral therapy for depression treatment resulted in a 44-percent improvement rate.

What’s Group Therapy?

Some people mistake group therapy for a support group. Both are quite different. For starters, a therapist puts together the group and leads the discussions. Whereas support groups are typically open to new participants, therapy groups form once and then close.

The therapist sets the goals for the group and guides discussions to meet them. Group therapies for depression, for example, could focus on the development of self-esteem and confidence. The counselor may emphasize group cohesion to mimic healthy family interactions. She or he may model coping behaviors that participants can then imitate.

Participating in Group Therapies for Depression

It may sound intimidating at first to participate in group therapies for depression. You may also be in rehab counseling and attend groups for anger management or relapse prevention. Each group will be different because of its stated goals. The emphasis of a group dealing with depression will be on personal growth.

You can talk openly with members of the group about your experiences and struggles. You receive feedback and affirmation. By allowing others to provide perspective, you succeed in seeing situations from different angles. When the therapist introduces a cognitive behavioral treatment aspect, you may also learn about dysfunctional patterns in your life.

With the help of group interactions, you then explore ways of replacing negative patterns with healthy ones. This process may be familiar from the group therapy you undergo as part of your addiction recovery.

Group Therapy as Part of a Bigger Treatment Picture

Although highly effective, group therapies for depression alone are insufficient when you’re also dealing with substance abuse. They’re an integral part of treating dual diagnosis. Therapists use additional modalities to help you overcome addiction. Examples include:

  • One-on-one talk therapy for depression as well as for exploring your addictive patterns
  • Family therapy, which benefits program participants with dysfunction in interpersonal relationships
  • Addiction education that elaborates on why you may have used drugs and how to prevent relapse
  • Experiential therapy that lets you interact with peers and practice the coping mechanisms you’ve learned in group sessions
  • Fitness therapy as a means to heighten your physical health and set the tone for a healthier lifestyle

When you first enter a rehab setting, you work with counselors to customize a treatment plan for you. At that time, you set goals that you want to achieve during and after treatment. Because some program participants don’t realize that they’re struggling with a dual diagnosis, the goals may shift later. Of course, you might also change your goals a little when you seem to be hitting several in stride.

If you’re struggling with addiction and wonder if there might be depression involved, stop guessing. Get the group therapies for depression you need from a group of caring therapists who understand addiction and depression. At Beaches Recovery, they’ll customize a therapy plan just for you. Call 866-605-0532 today to set up an appointment with an addiction specialist.