Inside the Group Room
An inside view of what happens in Real Therapy Groups

May 14, 2021
Group Theme: Relapse

Client Issue: “I’m very scared of relapsing and being too ashamed to come back.”

Insights from the group process

Addiction treatment is not a sprint; the addiction recovery process is a marathon. Success in addiction recovery is not measured by the lack of stumbling; addiction recovery is measured by what the person does immediately after stumbling: staying down and losing, or getting up and courageously rejoining the race and winning.

Success in addiction treatment is not measured by relapse. Success in addiction treatment is measured by what you do immediately after a relapse. If a person relapses, and at the very next moment they reach out to their addiction therapy treatment support, they have the chance to overcome and turn their relapse into a deep knowledge that can make them mature in the process of recovery.

If a person relapses and is filled with shame, guilt, pride, and embarrassment that keeps them from immediately returning to their addiction treatment support, that person will get lost in the darkness of addiction, perhaps never to return for years, or ever.

From the Clinician

The best relapse prevention is not composed of teaching techniques. It is imperative that people feel safe in a therapeutic environment free of potential judgment or criticism. An environment that doesn’t foster competition or a do or die attitude and an all or nothing mentality regarding relapse. Effective relapse prevention depends on a therapy environment that makes it easy for people to come back to therapy. A therapy environment in which the therapy and client engage in the dynamics of the relapse, and promotes learning from the experience of the relapse, to empower the recovery process to grow wiser and mature.

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