The positive effects of dual diagnosis treatment are improved with the support of others. Group therapy sessions are an important part of all substance abuse programs and can be found in many mental health programs as well.
In addition to individual therapy, all Excel Behavioral Health clients have access to suitable support groups to get help and emotional support from others who also struggle with dual diagnosis.
There are two very well-known group therapy programs for Dual Diagnosis:
Dual Diagnosis Anonymous (DDA) is a 12-step fellowship for men and women that focuses on recovery from dual illness using traditional 12-step fundamentals.
Double Trouble in Recovery (DTR) is also based on the traditional 12 step fundamentals to increase likelihood of recovery from both substance abuse and mental illness.
Excel Behavioral Health offers support groups for people with co-occurring disorders that are proven to help struggling addicts and those suffering with mental illness.
Benefits of Group Therapy
The benefits of peer support groups in the treatment of addiction are well known and well documented. Group therapy really does help.
Group therapy is valuable on many levels, including the ability to learn coping mechanisms from others who’ve “been there, done that” and the simple reassurance that the client is not alone in his/her situation—there are others facing similar or even the very same issues he or she is.
Clients benefit from these group therapy techniques:
- Expression: Clients experience the therapeutic effect of “getting something off their chest” at sessions. Additionally, talking about experiences and problems allows us to better understand our own perspectives and feelings.
- Feedback: Supportive advice and opinions from people who have “been there” is helpful changing our perspective.
- Modeling: Learning from others who are struggling with the same addictions or mental illnesses allows clients to create coping mechanisms by learning from the successes and failures of others. You are learning exponentially.
- Improved Social Skills: Clients begin to understand that talking to other people, to strangers, is the first step to creating a real bond. You also learn to discuss difficult topics more openly and appropriately.
The staff member who oversees individual therapy sessions will determine which group the client is best suited to join, and will integrate the client into the specified group.
What to Expect at Group Therapy
Dual diagnosis support groups are very much like the group therapy sessions for addiction or support groups for mental illness; the only difference being that dual diagnosis support groups deal with the struggles of both issues simultaneously.
- A licensed addiction therapist leads each session of between 5 and 15 patients.
- Each patient is encouraged to begin by talking about their day or week.
- The floor is open to any discussion.
- The therapist may ask for updates regarding previous sessions.
Support groups are and always have been places of safety. The purpose of every support group is to help break through the stigma of discussing addiction and mental illness, while offering support from others who have been there and advice from a licensed mental health professional.