9854 Group Counseling Sessions Copy

(a) Group counseling sessions shall be no less than one hour and no more than two hours in length.

(1) The DUI program may substitute one hour of individual counseling sessions for every two hours of group counseling sessions if the participant is unable to participate in or benefit from group counseling sessions because of a language barrier, an emotional problem, or other difficulty.

(2) Time allowed for breaks shall not be counted as part of the minimum time required for group counseling in Section 9851.

(b) Group counseling sessions shall be conducted by DUI program counselors in a manner that:

(1) Encourages the participants to talk and share ideas and information in order to identify and resolve alcohol or drug related problems;

(2) Provides an opportunity for participants to examine their own personal attitudes and behavior; and

(3) Provides support for positive changes in life style to facilitate reduction or elimination of alcohol or drug problems.

(c) Group counseling sessions may emphasize a specific topic or may be less structured in nature.

(d) The DUI program shall not use films or lectures to meet the number of hours of group counseling sessions required in section 9851.

SAMHSA TIP 41 Substance Abuse Treatment: Group Therapy. Provides excellent learning for facilitating groups. Look in your Materials Tab for a downloadable document.

TIP 41 – Excerpt from the Executive Summary:

With the recognition of addiction as a major health problem in this country, demand has increased for effective treatments of substance use disorders. Because of its effectiveness and economy of scale, group therapy has gained popularity, and the group approach has come to be regarded as a source of powerful curative forces that are not always experienced by the client in individual therapy. One reason groups work so well is that they engage therapeutic forces—like affiliation, support, and peer confrontation—and these properties enable clients to bond with a culture of recovery. Another advantage of group modalities is their effectiveness in treating problems that accompany addiction, such as depression, isolation, and shame.

Groups can support individual members in times of pain and trouble, and they can help people grow in ways that are healthy and creative. Formal therapy groups can be a compelling source of persuasion, stabilization, and support. In the hands of a skilled, well trained group leader, the potential healing powers inherent in a group can be harnessed and directed to foster healthy attachments, provide positive peer reinforcement, act as a forum for self expression, and teach new social skills. In short, group therapy can provide a wide range of therapeutic services, comparable in efficacy to those delivered in individual therapy.

Group therapy and addiction treatment are natural allies. One reason is that people who abuse substances are often more likely to stay sober and committed to abstinence when treatment is provided in groups, apparently because of rewarding and therapeutic benefits like affiliation, confrontation, support, gratification, and identification. This capacity of group therapy to bond patients to treatment is an important asset because the greater the amount, quality, and duration of treatment, the better the client’s prognosis (Leshner 1997; Project MATCH Research Group 1997).