Addiction Recovery with Group Therapy in Toronto, Ontario

When you need a supportive environment in a serene facility, our support groups can help clients find a safe place to talk openly about addiction.

Addiction Recovery with Group Therapy in Toronto, Ontario

Addiction recovery is a challenging process that usually involves a multifaceted approach. Group therapy is one of the options available to help someone recover from addiction, along with counselling, detox, medication, family therapy and other forms of treatment. In many cases of addiction treatment, group therapy is an effective way of achieving and maintaining sobriety. Group therapy allows recovering addicts to connect with others with similar problems in an environment that allows them to explore their vulnerabilities without guilt or shame.

Therapy sessions allow members to see that they’re not alone, allowing them to work through their problems and learn better coping skills. Group therapy may be used as a standalone treatment or as part of an addiction recovery program. There are several types and levels of group therapy settings, and they can be held in a hospital, rehab facility, community center, or mental health clinic. At Canadian Centre for Addictions, we offer addiction group therapy in our luxury rehab settings that gives you or a loved one the best chance at getting better and achieving lasting sobriety.

What is Group Therapy all about?

Group therapy is a type of addiction counselling involving sessions with one or more trained therapists and a group of recovering addicts. Group therapy aims to help participants get to the root of their addiction and provide them with the skills to live substance-free lives. The number of people participating in a group therapy session usually ranges from 5 to 15 but can be as high as 24 in some cases. Groups may meet for an hour or two once to twice weekly. Sessions usually involve the same set of clients, which helps foster trust and understanding within the group.

The social environment provided by group therapy sessions makes it appealing to individuals who feel alone on their recovery journey. There are several group therapy models, and the format chosen will depend on the therapist and the type of therapy. Individuals looking to be part of group therapy need to be matched with a group most appropriate to their specific needs. Groups may also change their model as needed or direct participants to other models when they complete their sessions. Canadian Centre for Addictions’s group addiction therapy sessions provide a conducive and empowering environment for you or a loved one seeking addiction recovery help.

The Different Types of Models for Group Therapy

The different models available for group therapy offer many benefits, but some persons may be better suited to a particular model than others. Some therapy groups may also employ more than one model for their sessions.

Psychoeducational Model

Psychoeducational groups provide relevant information and education about mental health, drug use, addiction, and related behaviors. Groups offering this model may take the form of a classroom with lectures, videos, and audio educating members on the impacts of drug use and how they can learn to live sober lives. Participants may also learn beneficial skills like healthy eating, relaxation, meditation, and anger management.

Skill Development Model

The skill development model of group therapy focuses on helping participants acquire and develop skills that help them abstain from drug use. The materials provided in this model are typically tailored to the specific needs of the members. Group members are also expected to interact more with each other here instead of just listening to the therapist in charge. Skill development model participants learn how to manage their finances, respond to triggers, become better parents, and keep their emotions in check when stressed.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Group Model

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a popular group therapy model that helps participants eliminate negative thought patterns that may fuel addictive behavior. CBT is based on the premise that negative behaviors are learned and reinforced with time. So, deliberately modifying one’s thoughts and feelings can cause positive behavioral changes. CBT works by identifying and eliminating wrong thinking patterns and replacing them with positive ones.

Addiction Support Model

The addiction support group therapy model offers participants varying levels of care and support. The group leader and other members assist in developing interpersonal skills during sessions. Addiction support group members get the opportunity to open up about their challenges and receive helpful tips on how to resolve them. The support group leader will explain desired behaviors during sessions to members and encourage and provide positive reinforcement.

Interpersonal Process Model

Interpersonal process groups utilize psychodynamic processes to promote healing among members. Members bring up their issues and receive feedback and potential solutions from their peers. Interpersonal groups serve as a microcosm of regular relationships as members relate with each other as they would their loved ones and friends. The content covered in interpersonal group sessions is secondary; leaders primarily observe participants’ behavior to see how their past experiences are influencing their present.

Group Therapy Categories

Group therapy for addiction treatment may be categorized based on how they are conducted and the people who participate. These categories have pros and cons, and the ideal one for an individual depends on their unique situation. They can be considered subtypes for group therapy models:

Fixed and Revolving Groups

A fixed group starts and ends with the same participants. New members do not join once the first session commences. Fixed groups may consist of up to 15 members with similar issues or at similar levels of recovery. Revolving groups allow members to join or leave at the right time. They can continue indefinitely with constantly changing participants.

Time-limited and Ongoing Groups

Time-limited groups expect members to attend a specific number of times or be in sessions for a specified period. Ongoing groups allow members to participate for as long as required depending on their symptoms and level of progress.

Our Groups

Our addiction recovery support groups at Canadian Centre for Addictions and their features include:

1. Task Groups

  • The group has a clear purpose
  • There is a balance of process and content issues
  • There is a climate of cooperation, collaboration, and mutual respect
  • Conflicts are addressed if they exist or arise
  • Feedback is exchanged clearly and immediately
  • Participants are given time to reflect on their work

2. Psychoeducational Groups

  • Stress management
  • Assertiveness training
  • Overcoming poly-addictions, such as codependency, gambling, or eating disorders
  • Anger management training
  • Dealing with alcoholic parents
  • Managing relationships and ending toxic relationships

3. Counselling Groups

  • Helping people develop more positive attitudes and better interpersonal skills
  • Using the group process to facilitate behavioral change
  • Helping participants transfer newly acquired skills and behavior learned in the group to everyday life

4. Psychotherapy Groups

  • The group worker helps individuals remediate psychological problems.
  • People participate in these groups to help alleviate symptoms of psychological disorders such as depression and anxiety.
  • The therapist is interested in creating a climate that fosters understanding and exploration of the problem area.

Give Us a Call and Let Us Guide You

If you or a loved one is a recovering addict needing aftercare treatment, the Canadian Center for Addictions will guide you. Our center offers comprehensive in-person aftercare treatment twice weekly to help prevent relapse. We also provide virtual rehab aftercare services from anywhere in North America. Contact us today at 1-855-499-9446


What are the Different Stages in Group Therapy?

All group therapy for addiction models generally follow three stages:

The Beginning Stage

This is the first stage, where participants become acquainted with the entire process. They learn the rules and goals
of the group.

The Middle Stage

Group participants spend more time in the middle stage than in the other two stages. This is where members let go of
limiting beliefs or thought patterns and acquire coping skills for dealing with triggers. They also interact and
form strong bonds with other group members in this stage.

The Final or Ending Stage

Members have to leave group therapy at some point, and this stage allows leaders and participants to plan for the
end. The final stage is taken gradually to let participants recognize their gains from the sessions and handle fears
or anxiety they may have due to leaving or ending their therapy.

The Benefits of Group Therapy

Group therapy has several benefits that make it a powerful resource for addiction recovery. These benefits of group therapy for addiction include:

  • Provides participants with the relevant information and education about their addiction and recovery
  • Offers motivation and support from peers to stay substance-free and maintain recovery goals
  • Allows quick access to therapy as many clients can be treated simultaneously by the same therapist
  • It offers therapeutic resources that challenge wrong beliefs and limiting thoughts and introduces members to new thinking patterns.
  • Participants get the opportunity to observe and interact with others in similar situations and learn new methods of dealing with their issues.
  • Creates an empowering environment as members get to offer assistance and receive feedback from their peers
  • Members can build relationships that can be useful for support and encouragement outside of sessions.
  • It provides a safety net that members can fall back on if they encounter hard times.
  • Members learn to cope with stress and other triggers without turning to their substance of choice.
  • It 0ffers structure and routine in the lives of members, making it easier to avoid triggers and stay off drugs
  • Group therapy allows members to build their optimism and sense of self-worth.

Group Therapy Vs. Individual Therapy – How do I Know Which is Right for Me?

Group therapy and individual therapy are two effective ways of treating addiction. Both options vary in what they offer, and most recovering addicts may need to incorporate the two into their addiction recovery plan. However, if you need to select only one of both, you should consider these factors before making a decision:

  • PersonalityYour personality type may influence your preferred therapy option. Extroverted people who enjoy interacting and being with others may favor group settings, while introverts and others who love to keep to themselves would tilt toward individual therapy. However, both personality types can still benefit from the two types of therapy.
  • AttentionIf you want personal time with a therapist, you may opt for individual therapy as the group therapist has to divide their attention among several participants. However, you can still acquire and practice the skills you need from your therapist in a group setting.
  • ConfidentialityAll therapy sessions should be confidential; however, you may not be able to guarantee this in a group setting.
  • PaceIn a group setting, you need to work at the same pace as other members, but individual therapy sessions allow you to dictate your recovery pace.

What Can You Expect from Group Therapy

When you come in for group therapy, you’ll expect to meet a leader or counselor who is committed to seeing you get better. For most people, group therapy is a component of their holistic recovery plan, so whether you’re an outpatient or inpatient resident client, you find a welcoming group therapy environment.

A group therapy session should allow participants to express their concerns without any worries. It should motivate you to want to improve and become a better version of yourself. One way to determine whether you’re making progress is if you find yourself looking forward to the subsequent sessions. Seeing other participants should also give you the sense that you’re not alone on your journey and can get better.

Frequently asked questions

What are group therapy techniques?

Group therapy techniques refer to any of the models employed in therapy involving one or more therapists working with several people at the same time. A session may involve meetings where chairs are arranged in a circle so that members can see everyone in the group. The technique employed in group therapy sessions largely depends on the therapist and the intended outcome of the meetings.

What is an example of group therapy?

An example of group therapy is cognitive behavioral group therapy, which identifies and changes inaccurate or distorted thinking patterns, feelings, and behavior that could fuel addiction.

What are the three advantages of group therapy?

Three advantages of group therapy include:

  • Allows quick access to therapy as many clients can be treated simultaneously by the same therapist
  • Provides participants with the relevant information and education about their addiction and recovery
  • Offers motivation and support from peers to stay substance-free and maintain recovery goals

What is the most common group therapy?

The most common group therapy is cognitive behavioral group therapy which has seen the most success as it helps people identify and replace limiting thoughts and beliefs which promote addiction.

How effective is group therapy?

Group therapy is as effective as individual therapy for treating a wide range of symptoms and conditions, and it’s more efficient, allowing a single therapist to reach more clients at once.

What are the pros and cons of group therapy?

The pros and cons of group therapy include:


  • Allows an opportunity to interact with others
  • Offers motivation from peers to stay substance-free
  • Provides a safety net to fall back on in hard times
  • Teaches members to cope with stress and other addiction triggers
  • Allows quick access to therapy as therapists can treat many people simultaneously
  • Offers a platform for members to build their optimism and sense of self-worth


  • May not offer personal attention
  • There may be issues of confidentiality
  • There may be problems with timing when members have different schedules
  • Participants may not make progress at the same pace
  • Group therapy may not be suited to individuals with an introverted personality

What is the ideal group size for group therapy?

The ideal group size for a therapy session is about 8 to 12 members who meet regularly with one or more therapists.

What is the success rate of group counselling?

Research shows that group counselling is as effective as individual counselling for various compulsive behaviors and mental health conditions.

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