Types of Groups

The heart of the IOP is the group sessions. There are various types of groups. Broadly speaking, these include psychoeducational, skills-development, support, and interpersonal process groups. Some programs utilize a rigid structure while others offer flexibility and cater to the needs of the participating group. Also, the group type may vary depending on the phase of treatment. For instance, at the early stages of treatment, programs may be more focused on education and may offer gentle topics such as:

  • Low-key concepts that don’t generate strong emotional intensity
  • Problem solving skills
  • Relapse prevention skills
  • Behavior practice in a safe environment
  • Training for how to refuse substances and how to avoid difficult and settings and triggers
  • Learning the balance between tolerance and assertiveness
  • General techniques for dealing with negative thinking

As the above topics are established and understood, programs will veer into more difficult and sensitive conversations that may require active conflict management within the group setting. Clients will most often be kept within the same groups or at least in homogeneous groups, where participants are working through similar issues. There may also be grouping based on demographics, other co-occurring conditions, and socioeconomic status.

Family, couples, and friend groups will also be used throughout treatment. Typically, those are done within a structured setting and often only during the individual treatment time.

Copyright 2017. Talk Therapy Psychology Center.

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