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What are some ideas for substance abuse group activities?

Why Group Therapy?

Group therapy is one of the most effective types of therapy for addiction treatment. At Royal Life Centers, we focus on types of treatment that are proven effective in the recovery from substance use disorders. We offer group therapy in our inpatient levels of care, which include: medical detox, the residential treatment program, and PHP (partial hospitalization program). The types of programs we have address our guest’s overall physical, mental and behavioral health.

Group therapy is an important part of the recovery process. This therapy setting gives our guests peer support, accountability, and feedback from those who can relate.

Types of Group Therapy

Our treatment centers begin the therapy process with what are called “psychoeducational” groups. These groups teach guests the effect of chemical dependency on their brain. Other types of group therapy that we offer include: psychodrama or experiential therapy, addiction support, and 12-step.

Our Approach

At Royal Life Centers, we create interactive group settings that teach, inspire, and support our guests. Our approach is a great way to engage many guests on a single topic, as it relates to each individual. Having an open dialogue between guests brings support, different perspectives, and key insights that could be overlooked in another setting. Group therapy is a significant part of the inpatient treatment process that we offer here at Royal Life Centers. Our treatment facilities include rooms used for interactive therapy.

Psychoeducational Groups

This substance abuse group is educational, it teaches guests about the short and long term effects of addiction.We like to teach guests about what drug or alcohol abuse does to the brain and how it effects them in recovery.  Activities will outline how each individual guest is affected by his or her addiction. Anticipated struggles will be discussed, as well as problem-solving activities to interfere with the problems faced in early stages of recovery.

Group Therapy Activities

Within group therapy, activities can be included to engage each guest. Substance abuse group activities are used to create guest cohesion, increase participation, bring up multiple perspectives, and nurture a supportive atmosphere. Some ideas for substance abuse group activities are mentioned below:

An example of a group therapy activity could include art therapy, such as drawing a representation of what our guests would like their life in sobriety to look like.  Group therapy activities can also take form in a group meditation exercise.

Another activity is recreating an event using the people in the room to represent the original event. This example is describing a type of therapy called a psychodrama, also known as experiential therapy. Group therapy activities are interactive and helpful in revisiting memories or thoughts from new perspectives.  Examples of other activities are going around the room to identify triggers, creating a list of ways to cope with cravings, and sharing the sober activities each guest finds joy in. Here at Royal Life Centers, we guide our guests to focus on values and goals. Our philosophy is to treat the mind, body, and spirit. We integrate activities that build our guests up, to ensure a strong and lasting recovery.

Using Behavioral Therapy in Groups

We integrate Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT to challenge a guest’s thought patterns, giving them a different perspective. We ask questions like “what if this happened instead?” We aim to strengthen our guest’s ability to manage stressors and other obstacles they face on their journey to recovery. Another type of behavioral therapy we use is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy or DBT, a therapy focused on finding the middle ground between the black and white thinking of addicts. Many activities are used to demonstrate using these types of therapies in daily life. We like to discuss the importance of topics including mindfulness, how to regulate emotion, interpersonal effectiveness, and more.


If you have any questions or would like more information about the activities we use in our group therapy setting, please visit our website or call a specialist today at 1-800-RECOVERY or 877-732-6837. Specialists are available to you 24/7, to answer any questions you may have about our treatment centers or facilities. Please don’t hesitate to call us with any questions about alcohol or drug addiction, inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation, intensive outpatient programs, or healing for family members affected by a loved one’s substance abuse.

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