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How Psychoeducational Groups Can Improve Your Recovery

How Psychoeducational Groups Can Improve Your RecoveryWhen an addict enters treatment, whether in patient or outpatient, they are likely to be offered several different services. These services might include individual therapy, group therapy, support groups, medication therapy, and psychoeducational groups. Each of these services has its own important role in addiction treatment. Psychoeducational groups are used in treatment to provide a foundation of knowledge to recovering addicts. This knowledge allows for a more deliberate and involved recovery process.

Importance of Group Dynamics

One of the greatest ways psychoeducational groups can improve an addict’s recovery is through the utilization of group dynamics. In a group setting, the educational counselor and addicts have the opportunity to interact with each person’s individual ideas and opinions. Through group interaction and discussion, one recovering addict might not only gain knowledge from the educational counselor, but also from the remarks and questions of other addicts. The involvement in group settings has secondary benefits, as well. Addicts can learn and practice communication skills through group discussion.

Improved Coping Skills

The discussion of healthy and unhealthy coping skills plays an important role in an addict’s recovery. Through psychoeducational groups, addicts might begin to understand why some individuals use substances to cope. They may also learn about the health consequences of using drugs or alcohol to cope with their problems. By gaining this knowledge, addicts are better able to recognize more of the consequences their addictions have brought on.

In the same way, psychoeducational groups can bring to light more effective coping techniques to be used. The educational counselor may teach the recovering addicts which coping mechanisms have shown to be effective through research. They might even utilize time in the group to practice these coping skills. For example, the educational counselor could integrate yoga into an educational group to show addicts how yoga can be used as a way of coping with stress.

Dual Diagnosis Recognition

In psychoeducational groups, the leader will often educate the group on mental health disorders aside from drug or alcohol addiction. A psychoeducational counselor might share the causes, signs, and symptoms of a mental health disorders such as depression. Addicts attending this group might notice that they actually experience several of the symptoms they have learned about. With this new personal finding, the addict might want to bring up these symptoms to his healthcare provider or individual counselor.

Psychoeducational groups are valuable in helping addicts and healthcare providers recognize the presence of co-existing disorders. Co-existing disorders like these, also called Dual Diagnoses, are a serious concern and can play a large part in the effectiveness of certain treatment types. Standard treatment may not be effective in treating Dual Diagnoses, making recognition of co-existing disorders so important.

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