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A key piece of treatment is individuality in group therapy. There is a constant need for people to create connections with others. The need for personal development is also important within the group system.

What Is Group Therapy?

Group therapy is the cornerstone of any recovery program. There are different methodologies, but the base purpose often remains the same.


The basic purpose of group therapy is to bring people together who have similar addiction and/or mental health concerns. In this way, individuals have the chance to express their emotions in a safe environment. 

Group therapy exists as a way for people to remember how to take in the opinions of others. It also gives them a chance to safely express their opinions about others. This socialization process is something that many people take for granted. However, for someone in recovery, substance abuse may have isolated them. This may be to the point that they not only lost friends but alienated everyone close to them.  


There are typically four stages to group therapy:

  • Formative
  • Transition
  • Working
  • Termination

These four stages include quite a bit of work as a group. However, throughout the process, clients are asked to look inwards and create their own path to personal health through individuality in group therapy.

The Importance of Individuality in Recovery

People enter therapy for many reasons. This can be to turn back into the person they used to be or the person they want to be. It is important to spend that time creating a plan with caregivers to better define what their endpoint will be. Setting goals can help guide the introspective process. 

Introspection can come about in many ways throughout a person’s time in treatment. This is true of both inpatient and outpatient programs. They will be asked to turn their attention inwards. It can be difficult, but the tools are there for those ready to use them.

With that in mind, it is important that they enter group therapy with the intention of using the environment to examine their own situation in terms of others. What this means is that they need to learn to accept the opinions of others while examining how it actually affects their own thought process. Interactions are important but must be looked at in the mindset of how they can be internalized and refocused.   

The Influence of Creative Expression on Individuality in Group Therapy

One type of group therapy is expressive art therapy. In these sessions, the group is asked to try their hand at various types of art. This can be anything from drawing to painting to journaling. Although these activities are done in a group setting, each person works on their own, utilizing the provided medium to delve further into themselves.

Once completed, the group comes together to discuss what they have done. In this way, the group is able to create a narrative as a whole while keeping the integrity of the individuals. Many clients find that this format is easier to handle as it feels more free-flowing and less clinical than typical therapy.

Expressive art therapy is just one form of creative expression used in recovery programs. No matter the method, the end goal is always the same. Help to reset the individual with a clear mind. Group therapy offers this, and creative expression can help coax it out.

How West Coast Recovery Centers Handles the Idea of Individuality in Group Therapy

At West Coast Recovery Centers, the main goal of our program is to bridge the gap between inpatient programs and the post-treatment world. Our outpatient program takes many forms. However, throughout the process, individuals are encouraged to build their internal mental scaffolding. They are given a guiding force that works both from without and from within.  

In these moments, clients can see themselves in ways they never have before. They will begin to see a new person: a whole person. This is a person they have not seen in a long time or even, perhaps, forever. To see this person and to create them from scratch can be an empowering experience.  

When the client utilizes their time in group therapy to build this new persona, they are accepting a previously unaccepted level of care. They are admitting that they need assistance and that they are ready to take on constructive criticism aimed in their direction.

Group therapy brings people together. It shows people that they have kindred spirits whose purpose in group therapy is the same as their own. Each person wants to help others to become the best version of themselves. West Coast Recovery Centers is not only prepared to facilitate this process but to provide the tools for clients to make their way through it.

When a client enters the program at West Coast Recovery Centers, they will find a variety of therapies available to them. Group therapy may be one of the most important. However, as much as the group must exist as one cohesive whole, the client must maintain their individuality. The purpose of this is to make sure they are always thinking of how the group relates to them. Recovery is a time when a person can feel safe being a bit more selfish and inward-thinking than usual. That mindset is not only acceptable but encouraged. West Coast Recovery Centers wants to help the group without forgetting the individual. Call us today at (760) 492-6509.