Group Design – Adults with a Substance Abuse Condition (cont’d)

Session Structure

            Because of the intense nature of the substance condition and because the members will still be early in recovery, there will be three sessions per week. A group of well-functioning adults of higher intelligence will have the ability to stay present during group counseling sessions for longer periods of time. (Corey, Corey, & Corey, 2010). Therefore, the group will meet for three-hour sessions. The initial commitment required for membership of the group will be 16 weeks. 16 weeks gives the group enough time for the members to form trusting relationships and for group cohesiveness to form. (Corey, Corey, & Corey, 2010). Members will have the opportunity to continue their membership with the group for an indefinite period time if they choose to do so. Missing meetings will be acceptable with either a valid excuse or if it is planned in advance.

Group Counseling Design – Adults with a Substance Abuse Condition

Group Selection

The group approach to counseling with adults with a substance condition has been proven to be not only cost-effective, but also powerful and successful. The group approach gives members of the group an experience that cannot be replicated by individual counseling. One reason why group counseling is so effective is because of therapeutic forces, like the instillation of hope, altruism, universality, and group cohesiveness. Another reason why group modalities are effective is due to their success in treating conditions that are associated with addiction, like bipolar, depression, and anxiety. (Treatment, 2005

Population and Participant Number

The people considered as members for this group will include adults, male or female, with a substance condition. The only requirement for membership will be that the individuals are over the age of 18 and they have a substance condition. The type of individuals that will be attracted to this group will be of the middle to upper socioeconomic status, above average intelligence, and most will have at least some college education. For an ongoing group, eight members might be ideal. (Corey, Corey, & Corey, 2010). However, because it is an open group and members are welcome to join at anytime, the number of people in the group will range from six to ten at any given time.

Staying Clean and Sober Allows me to Take Care of Myself

Today’s thought from Hazelden is:


I feel good about myself since I started taking care of my body. It’s the home that goes with me each day of my life.

–Bill L. – Age 17


When we were using, we often neglected our bodies and personal hygiene. We may have also stopped getting regular medical and dental care. It seemed that the ups and downs of a user’s life left us with little energy for personal care.


Today we are surprised at how much joy we get out of smelling good and dressing with care. Many of us are developing our own personal style.


At first, we might need to force ourselves to call for regular checkups, but the feeling of wellness we get from being responsible for our bodies outweighs our old fears.


Today let me love myself enough to care about my physical health and appearance.


Notes on today’s thought from Hazelden:


I’m so grateful for my sobriety today. Prior to getting sober, I did not take the time to take care of myself. There were always things that were more important. Today, taking care of myself is a priority. I know that I have to love myself before I can love others. I exercise pretty much everyday, I eat healthy every day, I pray and meditate every day, and I get enough sleep pretty much every day. I’m definitely not perfect. However, when it comes down to it, I’m pretty good to myself. I go to the dentist every six months to have my teeth cleaned and to have a regular check-up. I go to the doctor once per year for an annual check up. Prior to getting sober, these regular check-ups weren’t important. Being good to myself allows me to be an example to others. It also gives me the time and energy to be of service to others. Staying physically fit, exercising, eating healthy, and getting enough sleep all contribute to my well-being. Loving myself also attracts other people into my life that love themselves. I’m grateful for my life in sobriety today.

Group Counseling – Adults with a Substance Abuse Condition

In this post I will discuss group counseling with regards to a group composed of adults with a substance condition. I will discuss the group type and where the members will come from. I will discuss why I chose to select the group that I did. I will discuss the member population type and number of participants in the group. I will also discuss the session structure and the goals of the group.

Group Type – Adults with a Substance Abuse Condition

            The group that I plan to facilitate will consist of adults with a substance abuse condition. The members of this group will typically be adults referred from treatment centers. After going to treatment for 30-120 days, group counseling will be the next step in the recovery process. An open group is one where new members are welcome to join at anytime. (Cherry, n.d.). It is best for a person with a substance condition to join a group immediately after being discharged from treatment. Since people are discharged from treatment centers everyday, this will be an open group. Also, having members of the group that are in different stages of recovery is a good thing. This allows people that are new in recovery to be exposed to people that have been clean and sober for a longer period of time. This will give them hope. (Cherry, n.d.) Members of the group will also be referred by transitional sober living facilities.

When am I Manipulative?

Today’s thought from Hazelden is:


When am I manipulative?


Without understanding our motives, we can easily lapse into behavior aimed at manipulating others. Sulking is a means of letting others know we are displeased and forcing them to attempt to win our approval. Flattery is a false expression of approval that we don’t really feel – giving others good strokes for our own purpose. Withholding deserved praise is a means of putting others down, something we’re likely to do because of our jealousy.


Manipulative behavior is almost always selfish behavior. It is usually a false means of trying to get our own way. It is certainly an immature way of dealing with people and situations.


The best way to avoid being manipulative is to be ourselves at all times. We have neither the right nor the responsibility to control or regulate other people. Our best approach, in trying to influence another’s actions, is simply to state our own case with sincerity and honesty. Others must be free to act, free to choose, and free to make their own decisions without manipulative interference on our part.


I will be myself at all times today. I will not assume false roles simply for the purpose of bending others to my own will. Manipulative behavior is controlling behavior, which I must avoid.


Notes on today’s thought:


I really enjoyed today’s reading. It caused me to think about my motives behind doing the things that I do and think about whether or not I was being manipulative. The reading gives a pretty clear definition of manipulative behavior. Taking the time to pause and to look back and reflect on my behavior is the best way to determine if I have lapsed back into manipulative behavior. I cannot remember the last time that I sulked. However, as pointed out in the reading, the goal of sulking is to get people to feel sorry for me and to try to win my approval. Flattery is giving people fake praise. The motive behind flattery is selfish. Not praising someone for a job well job is the result of jealousy.


Before I got sober and before I worked the steps, I was manipulative. Manipulation was a way for me to control people and to get them to do the things that I wanted them to do. Sometimes the manipulation was direct and sometimes indirect. Manipulation is selfish and normally directed at getting my way. Surrendering to my Higher Power and having faith that everything is going to work the way it’s supposed to is a much easier way to live life. Manipulation creates wreckage. This wreckage is what can eventually lead to a relapse. Doing the next right thing leads to a life of happiness, joy, and freedom.

How does the current political climate affect changes in policies?

The recent political climate is centered on President Obama’s recent Healthcare Reformation (commonly known as “Obamacare”), his Military actions, and his economic reformation. Among his many actions is his new plan to “reduce drug use and its consequences-the National Drug Control Strategy…this science based plan, guided by the latest research on substance abuse, contains more than 100 specific reforms to submit our work to protect public health and safety in America” (A Drug Policy for the 21st Century). While this appears to be impressive and elaborate, many are still finding it even more difficult to transform their lives for the better. This problem arises from many sources which include Obamacare, that has made medical prescriptions and healthcare outrageously expensive, and an economy that has a a standard of living just as costly. To survive on one’s own is a dream, and to survive, one has to get in to debt to make a job that can just barely pay for half of the bills that comes from supporting oneself and family. The stress alone is at times the reason many turn to illicit activities, like drugged driving, which is becoming an even more popular trend that the nation is seeing. This is why one of the federal campaigns was created by the Department of Transportation that created their program called, “The Drug Evaluation and Classification Program” that is “A program that aids State and local jurisdictions in detecting and arresting drugged drivers and provides training to prosecutors and judges in the prosecution of drugged driver” (Office of National Drug Control Policy, 2014). While this program targets those who are drugged for every reason imaginable, their recent attention has been focused on those who are abusing prescription drugs. Most common are teenagers who have taken their parents/guardians prescribed medication which has been brought to the public’s attention even more this past year through another new campaign called, “The National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign”(Office of National Drug Control Policy, 2014). This new campaign is focused on using every means necessary to bring awareness of all drug-use, especially prescribed medications, to teenagers everywhere. While these new federal campaigns, policies, and actions are quaint, the hard reality is that unless the economy becomes far more livable, the stress of just being able to survive is going to continue to have its toll on everyone. Sadly, this also means crime is going to continue to expand and substance abuse, alcoholism, and other illicit activities are going to continue to find their means of being coping mechanisms for some people. 


The White House. Drugged Driving. The White House. Retrieved 4/18/2014 from


The White House. The Plan: A Drug Policy for the 21st Century.The White House. Retrieved 4/18/2014 from