Group and family therapy are both forms of therapy that take place with several people at the same time. The two share a few similarities. However, there are also notable differences between them.
Family therapy is, as the name suggests, therapy that involves a person’s family. It is used often in addiction treatment, as addiction is known as a “family disease.” This means that addiction affects those closest to the person with the addiction, not just the person living with the Substance Use Disorder (SUD).
Family therapy allows the person with an addiction to work through issues with their family that may have been at the root of some of their substance use. The family can provide insight into the person’s typical behaviors and patterns over time. They can be a great support. In addition, individual family members get a chance to talk through the ways the person’s addiction affected them, so that they can heal too.
Group therapy also involves several people, but unlike with family therapy, the people in the group typically start out as strangers. In addiction treatment, the group will likely consist of people receiving help at the same facility.
In group therapy, people in SUD treatment can practice employing effective communication skills, setting boundaries, actively listening, and other important social skills that may have suffered in active addiction.
In addition, most group therapy settings involve people who are experiencing a similar issue in their life and can give informed support. In the case of addiction treatment, everyone in the group will understand the experience of living with a SUD.
Both group and family therapy can foster self-awareness, as the group dynamic helps people learn how they are being perceived. Both encourage healthy communication and mutual support. In group therapy, you have the opportunity to build a new support system. In family therapy, you ideally get the chance to strengthen an existing support system.
If you are struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder, there is help and hope. TruHealing Centers across the country offer high-quality treatment for addiction and mental health. We offer individual, family, and group therapy, tackling issues from different angles so that you can find success in recovery. Call an admissions specialist at 410-593-0005.