Group Activities at a Drug Rehab in South Africa

Published: 10th December 2009
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We can't do it alone, together we can
Addicts attending a drug rehab in South Africa will often participate in group activities as well as individual therapy addiction counselling. Clients participating in drug rehabilitation are important to one another, as much can be learnt from the group interaction within a rehab. Social interaction and difficult interpersonal situations are an aspect of life that many addicts struggle with. Low self-esteem and fear often keeps an addict locked in a destructive pattern of behaviour, exacerbated by poor skills when dealing with other people and life situations. Group activities can break this pattern and help an addict to cope with life and the people it presents.

Recovering from an addiction cannot be done alone. Addicts need one another in order to stay abstinent and re-build their lives. All Twelve Step fellowships operate with the notion that recovery cannot be achieved alone. They encourage the sharing of experience in meetings and on a one-to-one basis in a sponsor and sponsee dynamic. The therapeutic benefits of group interaction between addicts can be harnessed by participation in group activities such as team building.

Find out more about addiction recovery facilitators in South Africa and the importance of group activities in the treatment of drug dependency.

The benefits of group activities for recovering addicts
Group activities offer clients the opportunity to build relationships with others, cope with responsibility, and work through conflict in an appropriate manner. In a rehab, most group activities take place during the daily programme. These activities include group therapy, therapeutic duties and team-building activities involving problem-solving as a team. Some other group activities offered in rehabs are a little more involved, and can include more challenging tasks in a different environment.

The importance of group therapy
Group therapy is a counselling method that uses a group format, and is facilitated by a professional therapeutic addictions team. The group is encouraged to trust others, share their stories and relate to one another. This type of therapy is extremely beneficial for addiction recovery as the members begin to foster a sense of support, safety, relief and hope through identifying with similar feelings and situations as raised by other members. Group therapy is also an excellent forum for any grievances with one another to be raised in an environment where feelings can be expressed and dealt with in a healthy way.

Outdoor group activities
Outdoor team building exercises give addicts the opportunity to experience interpersonal and challenging dynamics in a different environment whilst remaining safe within the protection of the group. Outdoor activities help to break the isolation which has become a way of life for many addicts.

The Outward Bound programme is a valuable tool for character building, self-awareness and personal growth. This is achieved through participants working in a team in an outdoor environment with many difficult physical and mental tasks. The challenges are aimed at giving participants the opportunity to practice asking for help and achieving a positive outcome.

Deep-sea adventures are another popular group activity for recovering addicts in rehab. The experience of focusing on nature and the expanse of the ocean takes a client's mind away from treatment and drugs, and encourages relaxation, serenity and happiness. Many addicts starting a process of recovery feel that they will never have true fun again as nothing will ever match the euphoria brought on by drugs. However, when on an excursion such as deep-sea adventure, they begin to have fun and they do all of this whilst sober.

Group activities are widely practiced in treatment facilities across South Africa. Addiction counselling in a group setting, accompanied by activities in which social interaction occurs, challenges clients to make cognitive changes to their behaviour. The various experiences also afford them the opportunity to prepare for life once they leave rehab, and to cope with life experiences. As well as fostering a nurturing space for an addict to practice life without the use of drugs, a drug rehab also helps addicts find recovery and share their issues with addicts in similar situations. Once they begin to trust, risk and share, the process of healing can begin.

Speak to a professional regarding drug treatment facilities available in South Africa.

About the Author

Oasis Counselling Centre is a registered drug rehab in South Africa offering addictions counselling and group activities such as an Outward Bound programme and deep sea adventure.

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