Group Activities for Addiction Counseling

People participating in group activities for addiction treatment

Group therapy is a valuable part of addiction recovery. Working with a group of others who share similar challenges provides meaningful insights and allows participants to practice the new interpersonal skills they are learning in recovery. Group therapy activities add a new layer of interest and potential to traditional therapy. If you could benefit from group therapy in Omaha, contact Northpoint Omaha today at 402.685.9404 for more information.

What Is Group Therapy?

Addiction treatment typically involves several types of therapy, including one-on-one therapy, family therapy, experiential therapy, and group therapy. During group therapy, patients meet together with one or more therapists to share their experiences and offer and receive support from peers.

The format of the group is typically decided by the overseeing therapist but is also guided by the group’s needs. It may include education or skills development or focus on support. Including structured activities helps participants get more experience.

Group Therapy Activities

Group activities for addiction counseling are chosen with the group’s needs in mind. Activities keep members engaged and help to break down barriers, so participants feel more comfortable with one another.

The process of addiction recovery is already emotionally charged. Asking virtual strangers to share their most intimate thoughts with one another the first time they meet may be too much and could cause some people to shut down instead of open up.

Icebreaker Activities

Icebreakers are meant to ease the discomfort of meeting strangers and provide group members with a way to share something about themselves.

Two truths and a lie is an activity where participants share two statements about themselves that are true and one that is false. Other members try to guess which is which.

Discussing common triggers is another helpful icebreaker. Everyone in addiction recovery must learn to cope with the triggers that tempt them to use drugs or alcohol. A discussion of triggers helps participants see how much they have in common and can offer new insight into dealing with triggers.

Nonverbal Activities

Therapy involves a lot of talking about feelings, but sometimes patients need a break from talking. Non-verbal activities provide the chance to contemplate their innermost thoughts quietly.

The burning bowl ceremony can be used for many different purposes. Participants write a list of emotional burdens they no longer want to carry on a piece of paper and place the paper in a large bowl. The bowl is carried outdoors to a fire-safe area, and the papers are burned. Patients can choose to share what they let go of or not.

Ask patients to draw a basic “tank” representing their personal gas tank. Just like a car, people can’t run on an empty tank. Have them fill the empty tank with drawings or words that represent the thoughts, people, and events that keep their tank full.

Self-Care Activities

Good self-care is foundational to long-term sobriety. Recovery patients need to learn the importance of self-care and how a lack of it can make them more vulnerable to relapsing.

Discuss the basics of self-care. What does it mean to the individual, and what makes them feel cared for? Self-care activities to practice include:

  • Forgiving oneself and others for past mistakes
  • Healthy lifestyle practices, such as eating regularly and getting adequate amounts of sleep, and exercise
  • Practicing meditation or other mindfulness exercises
  • Building a sober support network
  • Participating in sober social activities
  • Helping others and being of service to their community
  • Allowing time for personal interests, such as reading, sports, creative endeavors, and other hobbies

Self-care can mean different things to different people. Encourage patients to make their list as personal as possible.

Northpoint Omaha Offers Group Activities for Addiction Counseling

At Northpoint Omaha, we understand that each person’s recovery journey is unique. We strive to include a variety of therapeutic techniques to keep every patient engaged and enthusiastic about their treatment. Contact Northpoint Omaha today at 402.685.9404 to learn more about our addiction recovery programs.