The Benefits of Group Therapy and Support Groups


Not all substance abuse or addictive personality disorders involve co-occuring mental health issues. However, a decent majority do involve underlying mental health disorders that have been left untreated. In many instances, depression or anxiety either from trauma or post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been left untreated which leads to self-medication through substance abuse. These problems only exacerbate themselves as self-medicating often leads to new disorders like substance abuse and addiction.

Because of the high prevalence of mental health issues being connected to addiction and substance abuse, Choice House promotes multiple therapeutic modalities that utilize a dual diagnoses approach to addiction treatment. Dual diagnoses is just a fancy clinical phrase for treating mental health issues and addiction together. In most cases, you can not treat one without addressing the other. This dual diagnosis approach is an effort to improve the chances of success for patients in addiction recovery to not only achieve but maintain sobriety. 

Stigma Surrounding Therapy

Therapy itself has made giant strides since its early beginnings in the mid 20th century at absolving itself of much of the negative stigma that surrounded it as a practical treatment method. Therapy that was once considered taboo and not talked about and potential patients were often viewed as black sheep or even crazy has become a regular medical treatment option that is acknowledged by most insurance plans. 

More and more, people are coming to think of these therapeutic treatment methods for what they actually are–a form of medical treatment. Promoting mental health and well-being the same way you would a regular visit to a doctor for a cold or flu helps to remove the stigma and taboo surrounding treatment methods. This change subsequently results in more patients being treated and even better treatment options. It is a win-win for patients, patients’ loved ones, and even doctors and therapists.

Even with these strides, we know that the process can be a little intimidating for those who have never personally experienced therapy. The typical one-on-one experience can be daunting as you will be discussing your most personal problems with a stranger. Therapy involves a degree of trust between both patient and therapist, as well as a willingness to be open about personal flaws and problems. Group therapy, on the other hand, offers an opportunity to test out the waters of therapy in a group setting to discuss larger issues surrounding addiction recovery.

What Is Group Therapy?

Group therapy involves any combination of smaller groups, generally between 6-12 people, that discuss recovery-related issues in a group setting. It is less personal, as the topics must pertain to each member in the group, and can help those who are shy to open up more. Patients can gauge their level of involvement in each discussion while the group participation helps to ease some of the pressures. 

Group sessions not only are a less intimidating introduction to therapy, but they also can serve as a chance to commiserate and learn from fellow addiction recovery patients. The benefits of group therapy can be far reaching by helping patients to not feel so alone while they also actively give and receive support from fellow recovery patients. The group therapy template also allows individuals to develop communication skills, which may have been lacking and even improve self-awareness.

At Choice House, we feel that the group therapy method brings recovering addicts together in a safe setting to deal with addiction issues while drawing out a more empathetic and gratitude-based approach to life. Even those without mental health issues can still benefit from therapy to improve their self-awareness of their addictive disorder.

Group vs Individual Therapy

Obviously there is no clear winner between group and one-on-one therapy. Both have their advantages and should be used accordingly. Group therapy may not be the best method of treatment for those with social anxiety or spectrum disorders. It also will not delve as deeply into personal issues as it has to cover broader topics of discussion. 

On the other hand, group therapy may help open up individuals who are weary of therapy and can even go so far as to improve their one-on-one sessions. The inclusion and ability to help out of others in a group setting directly mirrors the efforts of therapists acting in personal sessions. Such mirroring which can lead most recovery patients to a better understanding of the recovery process and of themselves. 

Each individual is different and will react accordingly to different modes of treatment. Some may prefer either individual or group therapy, or a combination of both. Our hope is that both group and one-on-one therapy sessions will work hand in hand, each assisting the other in helping you to maintain sobriety. That is why at Choice House, we take a rounded therapeutic approach to treating addiction recovery to give patients the best options to tackle their personal problems and addictive disorders.


If you are interested in treating your addiction or dual diagnosis using therapy methods in either individual or group therapy sessions, then Choice House is the addiction recovery center for you. Located in Boulder County, Colorado, Choice House offers three modes of treatment that include an intensive 90 day in-patient treatment, outpatient treatment options, and a sober living campus. Our experienced and thoroughly trained staff can help guide you through this difficult process of overcoming addiction and reclaiming your life. With the Rocky Mountains right in our backyard, Choice House is unique because we offer outdoor activity therapy, which has proven to help many recovering addicts maintain their sobriety by reconnecting with others, nature, and a life they once had. We are here to help you build a foundation of love, empathy, and gratitude as you achieve sobriety while also giving you the tools necessary to maintain that sober lifestyle. For more information about admission procedures and our treatment options, call 303-578-4977

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