Substance Abuse Group Therapy Topics

Group therapy is a great option for those struggling with addiction, as it can be beneficial in so many ways.  Being in a group setting allows individuals to develop insight into their own core issues and gain greater self-awareness by listening to others who have similar problems.  It can also enable individuals to improve their communication skills, bond with group members through their shared experiences and receive honest feedback and outside perspective from others in the group. 

Group sessions are typically led by therapists who seek to prompt discussion, encourage participation and guide conversation.  Acting as a group leader, these therapists are also able to pick up on a person’s individual issues that reoccur in group therapy and in daily life. 

Topics of conversation during these group therapy sessions can vary, but there are many great discussion points to choose from.  The following are a few substance abuse-related issues that are commonly addressed in group therapy:

  • Identify and discuss triggers for substance use.  How have you responded to them in the past? Can you identify any patterns? What kinds of coping strategies can you use to overcome your triggers? 
  • Discuss gratitude.  What are you grateful for and why?
  • Discuss the impact of stinking thinking.  How do certain negative thoughts influence our actions and behavior?
  • Discuss what you can do when you’re faced with temptation.  What can you do to prevent cravings in the first place?
  • Discuss the importance of self-care.  What are you doing to take care of yourself? (Discuss sleep, exercise and nutrition habits).  What are some of your goals to help put you first?
  • Discuss the importance of “letting go” in the context of forgiveness and overcoming resentments.  Is there anyone in your life that you would like to forgive?  How has holding on to grudges and resentments affected your life?
  • Discuss stress management.  What makes you stressed? What actions can you take to control your stress and what happens when you don’t control your stress?
  • Brainstorm ways to reduce isolation.  Discuss isolation risks and benefits, and how to identify how much alone time is too much.
  • What advice would you give to your childhood self? If you could do everything all over again, what, if anything, would you do differently?
  • Discuss 12-Step programs and identify pros and cons for each.  Will you continue to attend 12-Step meetings after treatment completion? Why or why not?
  • Discuss mindfulness and living in the present moment.  What things must you accept that you cannot change? What are the benefits of living in the present moment?
  • Brainstorm affirmations in the group, then write a list of self-affirmations.  What makes you uniquely you? Why is comparing yourself to others harmful?
  • Where do you stand in terms of your own journey of recovery?  Discuss aspects of recovery that you feel you have accomplished and aspects of recovery you would like to accomplish in the future. 
  • What anger management techniques have been beneficial to you? Share personal experiences regarding anger and what you did to both appropriately and inappropriately manage it. 
  • What are your bad habits? Discuss ways to replace the bad habits with healthier ones. 

Ultimately, through shared experiences and feelings, group therapy has been proven to boost self-confidence and reduce stress, overall improving an individual’s chance at long-term sobriety.  At Arise Recovery Centers, our group therapy sessions bring individuals together from all over the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex who are struggling with the same issues.  Blended with personal therapy and at-home assignments, our sessions propel our clients in a positive direction toward healing.  For more information about Arise Recovery Centers Drug Addiction Group Therapy or Alcohol Addiction Group Therapy Programs, call us at 1-888-DFW-ARISE (1-888-339-2747) or contact us by email at

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