Recovery stories: Therapists like to start conversations by having someone share their story explaining how they got to the point they’re at. This makes a great ice breaker and helps introduce group members.
Traumatic experiences: These experiences are some of the biggest factors that lead someone to addiction. Discussing your trauma and hearing other people’s experiences can help with bonding, create vulnerability, and open doors for further growth and learning.
Family issues: Family relations are important to everyone’s life, and each group member will have their own story about how mental health and addiction affected their relationships. If there are unsupportive family members, codependencies, and attachment issues, these are all factors that can contribute to substance abuse. It is common in a group therapy session to talk about family and other forms of relationships.
Forgiveness: Holding onto negative feelings like pain or betrayal can lead to substance abuse disorders. Forgiveness helps group members lower these roadblocks so that they can grow. Forgiveness is also heavily talked about in 12-step programs. It is common to have discussions about forgiveness and how it can relate to each member’s concept of forgiveness.
Triggers: Every person who struggles with addiction has their own set of triggers, and they could be similar to those of other group members. Things like thoughts, emotions, people, places, and experiences can all lead to negative thinking, but being open about these things can be very helpful in a group therapy session. It is also common to discuss healthy coping mechanisms during sessions so that members can learn how to identify their triggers and take the necessary steps for healing.