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Role of Support Groups for Addiction

For this discussion, describe key differences between formal group therapy in a treatment setting and support groups found in the community (such as Alcoholics Anonymous). What client characteristics or preferences are appropriate to consider before making referrals to support groups in the community? Provide an example of a client objection that may better addressed by an alternative to traditional twelve-step support groups and present a rationale for a support group that may be a better fit.

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* Describe key differences between formal group therapy in a treatment setting and support groups found in the community (such as Alcoholics Anonymous).

In formal group therapy programs core principles are upheld by both facilitator and the client in group therapeutic processes. A teaching process is involved that includes a range of skills including rationales and ethics to deal with clients in treatment and support initiatives. Support for the group comes in the form of ensuring group members that their feelings are being accurately reflected during the therapeutic process (Treatment for Improvement Protocol [TIP]). TIP operates from principles based on five groups that include: (a) psychoeducational groups (b) skills development groups, (c) cognitive-behavioral/problem-solving groups, (d) support groups & (e) interpersonal process groups [TIP 41, p.] (www.samhsa.gov.).
Thus, within each of the five groups, core characteristics (e.g., confidence. empathy and spontaneity) can be beneficial to the group therapeutic process. For instance, psycho-educational groups will express, "caring, warmth, genuineness, and positive regard for others" (TIP, p. 14). In addition, support groups may follow the group leader in demonstrating empathetic concern such as: (a) teaching unconditional acceptance, (b) encouraging inward reflection, (c) reflecting openness and honesty, and (d) having the skills necessary to foster interpersonal interaction, all focused ...

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This solution discusses the role of support groups in the treatment of addiction. All references used are included.

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