Human is born in the group of people such as family, social, cultural and religious groups. These groups shape everyday life of the person and their behaviors as well. Group therapy is a type of psychotherapy in which there are one or more therapists working with a group of people at the same time. Because of human nature to act in a group, therefore, the group therapy can be an effective source of persuasions, stabilization, and support for the people who are involved in the group therapy. The therapy is widely used to tackle the people at the same time who have same issues and is considered as effective. It is a process of interaction between a group of people and the discussion is used to treat several disorders and health issues as well. The therapy is also helpful in treating the behavioral issues. The creation of the group is essential in the group as the group has an impact on the behavior and attitude of people. The choice of group is important as the group members can influence the people positively and negatively. The paper aims to explore the development of the group therapy, role of World War II, and the impact of group therapy treatment on the treatment of drug users.
The development of the groups in the group therapy is important. There are two types of group development takes place fixed group development and revolving group development. The idea of fix group is in which members of the group stay together for a longer period of time whereas in the revolving group the stay is dependent on the individual goals and motives of joining the group. People in the revolving group keep on changing (Flores & Georgi, 2005). The fixed group has limited number of people, admission at the start of the group only, a fixed number of therapy sessions and more structured learning process. For example, the sessions will be linked with the previous sessions. However, in the revolving groups, the number of sessions might be fixed but anyone is welcome to join at any session. People are independent of the sessions they want to join.
Because the group therapy has aimed for certain recovery or treatment of health or behavioral issues so the development of the group has stages as well. The first phase of the group is attention, relationship building, orientation and establishment of the safe working environment. In the second phase of the group, people share their personal experiences, several coping strategies are advised and therapy is being carried out. The last stage of the group therapy is the deliberate but positive end of the group therapy (Flores & Georgi, 2005). Groups are developed to enrich the experiences of people, ensure the guidance and support in the time of the crises as well as positive reinforcement. While thinking about the activities or tasks for the group sessions, it is essential to be sensitive to the cultural, religious and other sensitive aspects of the group members. The leader of the group must consult the members privately to understand their difficulties and growth during the therapy. Group therapy can have negative impacts if it is led by poorly trained and unskilled therapist.
The concept of the group therapy emerged after World War II because after the World War II there was a large number of soldiers who needed help and therapists preferred to treat them in groups. The number of psychiatric causalities was high during and after the war and individual treatment was not possible so the therapists in the military made the decision of using group treatment method (Vlastelica, 2011). The therapy resulted in the positive outcome in the soldiers and therefore was used widely post World War II. The therapeutic group activities can be traced back to the experiment of the Northfield experiment. During this experiment, many army officers and patients who were traumatized by the war were gathered in the group and it was analyzed how being in a group is effective for the positive outcome.
Group therapy is widely being used in treating the substance use disorders (SUDs). The group therapy for the substance abusers has been in use for a long and in the year 1988, it was estimated that 94% of the treatment has group therapy element in the treatment (Weiss, Jaffee, de Menil, & Cogley, 2004). The teens or the adults usually use drugs or alcohol in the company of other people so group therapy can benefit in replicating their experience. When asked 80% of the teens preferred group therapy over a web-based activity (Kaminer, 2005).
The group helps them understand that their struggles as well as struggles of their peers, development of the techniques for socializing and peer’s feedback which will enhance their ability to cope as well as share their experience. Substance abuse treatment group is primarily fixed group where at the start of the group participants are asked they are not allowed to miss any session. The relapse rate is high for the drug users and discontinues treatment and this is true in the first month of the treatment. In the initial month, the clients are emotional, mentally and physically fragile along with external stress, subgrouping, personal conflicts and lack of the ability of the leader (Flores & Georgi, 2005). At that time, the therapist can play a role and derive some motivational technique to keep the interest of the members and help them stay motivated and active.
Flores, P. J., & Georgi, J. M. (2005). Substance abuse treatment: Group therapy. US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.
Kaminer, Y. (2005). Challenges and opportunities of group therapy for adolescent substance abuse: A critical review. Addictive Behaviors, 30(9), 1765–1774. doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2005.07.002
Vlastelica, M. (2011). Group analytic psychotherapy (im) possibilities to research. Mental Illness, 3(1). doi:https://doi.org/10.4081/mi.2011.e2
Weiss, R. D., Jaffee, W. B., de Menil, V. P., & Cogley, C. B. (2004). Group Therapy for Substance Use Disorders: What Do We Know? Harvard Review of Psychiatry, 12(6), 339–350. Retrieved from https://journals.lww.com/hrpjournal/Fulltext/2004/11000/Group_Therapy_for_Substance_Use_Disorders__What_Do.4.aspx