Commitment to Change Group
- A mixed group of adult men and women focused on:
- achieving and maintaining abstinence
- relapse prevention and maintenance of sobriety
- identifying and preventing emotional triggers of relapse
- better coping mechanisms
- improving interpersonal relationships
- reducing conflicts resulting from relapse
- guidance towards positive life changes
- Enrollment is open ended, new members can join at any time.
- The group will meet once a week for 90 minutes
- This group has no fixed termination date.
- Not a “one-strike your out” setting.
- The leader of the group is John Carr, M.D. Dr. Carr has extensive training and experience in treating alcohol and substance abuse disorders, and is Board Certified in Addiction Psychiatry. He is also a Suboxone Certified Prescribing Doctor and Substance Abuse specialist.
Please contact our office staff directly at 301-984-9791, extension 0, for additional information, and how to enroll in this group.
Click here if you would like to download an informational handout for this group.
What is group therapy?
Group therapy gathers together a number of patients with similar symptoms or experiences and is led by a psychotherapist, psychologist or psychiatrist. The number of members varies. Some groups may focus on a particular topic such as substance abuse, mood disorders, a support group for new mothers, social anxiety workshops, and so forth. Other groups are more open-ended and focus on the experience of being in various relationships within the group itself that begin to mirror outside relationships. As part of the healing opportunity, the group therapy patient explores his or her relationships inside the group to better understand important outside relationships, and explore their inner relationship with their self, to improve self-esteem. Group can also help patients who suffer from deep feelings of shame, humiliation, loneliness, and/or social anxiety; and is a powerful method for treating these issues – at times more effective than individual therapy.
Group members will be encouraged (but not forced) to share their own experiences and also give feedback to others. With the support of a therapist and/or psychiatrist, group members have the opportunity to try new ways of interacting with others. Group members all commit to keeping group interactions confidential so that the group provides a safe and trusting environment.
How is group therapy helpful?
By sharing your experiences and listening to the experiences of others, group can benefit you in a number of ways:
- Receive support and constructive feedback from a number of people devoted to helping you (as opposed to just the therapist.)
- Realize that you are not alone with your problems. Group members are often surprised to learn that others members are often struggling with similar situations and feelings. Interactions with other group members and the leader can decrease shame, provide a number of perspectives and options for solving interpersonal problems and promote healing.
- Learn about how you connect with others to gain self -awareness.
- Practice new ways of interacting with others in a safe place. You can think of group as a “social laboratory” in which you can experiment with new ways of relating to people. This may improve your interpersonal relationships outside of group with romantic partners, friends, co-workers, parents, children, and others.
- Increase interpersonal skills such as conflict resolution, reducing social anxiety, and improve your social skills.
- Group therapy can be more cost-effective than individual therapy. Group therapy is offered at a lower price, and longer sessions. Many research studies have also shown that group therapy can be as effective as individual therapy and more even effective with certain conditions.
What are some common myths about group therapy?
- I will be forced to talk.
- This myth is absolutely false. You are in control of what you share with the group. The group therapist is aware that every member has different comfort levels with sharing, and will never put you in a position that forces you to share something that you are not comfortable with revealing. With that being said, people who benefit most from group tend to participate in group discussion more than those who do not participate. The more you put into the group experience the more you will get out of it.
- Group therapy will take longer than individual therapy, because there are other members with competing needs to my own.
- The opposite is actually true. Group often works just as quickly or more quickly than individual therapy. While it may take a little time to experience the power and benefits of group therapy, once trust is established it can be very helpful to hear about the experiences of others and realize how much you have in common with them. Also, as other members share their personal experiences in group you will realize insights that apply to your problems and concerns.
- I am such a shy person, I will never be able to share my feelings with a group of people.
- It is completely normal to feel nervous about group therapy at the beginning! However, most group members begin to feel more comfortable sharing with one another after a few sessions. Remember, other group members are often feeling scared just like you are. The development of mutual support often makes sharing easier.
- Group therapy is second-rate therapy and just not as good as individual counseling.
- Many research studies show that group therapy is just as effective as individual therapy (Barlow et al., 2004 link to article). Group therapy can often provide help in ways that individual therapy cannot. For example, you can receive support, insights and understandings from many members at one time, and you can practice new ways of relating during the sessions, and then try them out with your outside love or workplace relationships.
If you are curious about group therapy, please call 301.984.9791 to set up a free 15 minute phone screening.