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How Does Group Therapy Help Addiction?

Teenagers with substance use disorders (SUD) are dealing with an adult issue at a time when their brains are still going through tremendous development. The psychological and emotional needs of a teen struggling with substance abuse or addiction are vastly different from an adult’s needs. Therefore, teen addiction treatment must cater to adolescents’ unique and changing needs.

Like adults, teens struggling with SUD are more likely to have co-occurring mental health disorders, including anxiety, depression, and PTSD, that can fuel substance use. However, teens are more likely to focus on the perceived social benefits of substance use than considering the negative impact on their functioning and development. At Beyond Healthcare, we specialize in working with adolescents and teens ages 11 to 17. We understand the importance and influence of peer connections, which is why group therapy is integral to our treatment programs. Call us at 833.698.0453 to learn more.

Understanding the Importance of Peer Groups in Adolescence

Peer groups are one of the most significant forces in adolescent development. In fact, research shows that peer relationships have more influence on teenage development than family. Peer relationships are crucial in helping teens gain independence from their parents and develop their identities, two critical parts of healthy development.

Other ways that peer groups influence and benefit adolescent development include:

  • Clarifying and maintaining norms for social behavior
  • Being a safe place to practice behaviors
  • Serving as a source of information and feedback
  • Providing a sense of belonging and being valued
  • Developing social, emotional, and communication skills
  • Fostering moral development
  • Developing self-confidence and self-worth

While peer pressure is typically associated with negative behaviors, parents need to understand it also can exert positive influences, which is a key factor in why group therapy for teens is so effective.

How Does Group Therapy Help Addiction?

Initially, most teens are reluctant to participate in group therapy, and many parents are doubtful that it will help their teen who seems closed off and uncommunicative. While we understand this reluctance and doubt, at Beyond Healthcare, we know that the benefits of group therapy for teens are backed by science, and we see the positive results in our programs daily.

In recent years, group therapy has become a core component of addiction treatment for people of all ages. Being part of a group is essential to human survival, and the social support component of group therapy is key to its effectiveness, particularly with teens. When teen substance abuse occurs, the negative aspects of peer pressure are amplified, often leaving parents feeling helpless and frightened. Group therapy for teen addiction focuses on replacing negative peer pressure with positive support from peers experiencing similar challenges and struggles.

Other ways group therapy helps with teen addiction include:

  • Providing a nonjudgmental environment where teens can express themselves without criticism or shame
  • Providing the opportunity to form relationships with peers who share the same recovery goals
  • Creating a support network and making community connections
  • Fostering social and communication skills while reducing isolation
  • Increasing accountability for themselves and to others
  • Recognizing they are not alone in their thoughts, feelings, or struggles
  • Creating an environment where peers can give and receive feedback

Through group therapy for addiction, teens act as positive role models instead of encouraging drug or alcohol use and teach each other healthy coping skills. Seeing peers progress in group therapy encourages all group members to continue healing and growing.

Learn More About Group Therapy for Addiction at Beyond Healthcare

Beyond Healthcare provides comprehensive outpatient mental health and dual diagnosis treatment for adolescents and teens ages 11 to 17 and their families. Teen addiction can have devastating short- and long-term impacts. Teen substance abuse is often a symptom of an underlying mental health issue. We provide dual diagnosis treatment to address co-occurring disorders simultaneously, leading to better outcomes for recovery.

If your teen is struggling with drug or alcohol abuse, we can help. Reach out to our team today at 833.698.0453 to learn more about the benefits of group therapy for teen addiction and mental health.