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Ideas and Activities for Substance Abuse Group Therapy

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Breaking Through Denial

To break through denial, have each group member write a short story of how she began using drugs, including all details leading up to her referral or entrance into the substance abuse group therapy process. No member should include her name on the writing assignment. The therapist collects the stories and redistributes them so that no one receives her own story. Members read each story aloud, and all members silently raise their hands whenever they hear a statement read that appears to include denial of addiction or the seriousness of the consequences involved.

Using Music

Inhibitions in group therapy can be reduced through allowing group members to express their feelings through sharing music. Assign each group member to bring to group and share at least one CD single that expresses an important aspect of his life or reveals something personal about him that he would like to share with the group. Have each group member share times he has also experienced the sentiment expressed in the music.

Throwing It Away

Have each group member write a list of behaviors related to drug or alcohol abuse, along with a list of negative consequences caused by the behaviors. After each behavior and consequence have been shared aloud with the group, place a waste basket in the center of the circle, and have each member wad the lists up and physically throw them into the waste paper basket in front of the group. Each group member should verbalize that she is throwing the destructive behavior and consequences away.

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About the Author

Valerie Belew is an Internationally Certified Substance Abuse Professional through the IC&RC. She received her B.S. Degree from Georgia Southern University in 1976, and her Masters Degree from NOBTS in 1996. She has served in a number of Professional Managment positions, and published over 100 articles through demand STUDIOS and Hub Pages..