The issue of chemical dependency is an essential problem nowadays. This question is especially connected with the most vulnerable people who face significant stressful social and economic pressure. It is stated that psychological group therapy is one of the helping methods of recovering from dependency. In the article, the authors provided data according to the positive effect of the two types of group therapy on the process of the drug-addicted African American women with low income recovering.
The Basis for a Group Need
Women with low income usually face numerous problems and pressure. Dealing with challenges in their lives, these women frequently become drug-addicted. Besides economic problems, women with chemical dependency should deal with social isolation and psychological difficulties. Group therapy might help to reduce emotional pressure and prevent relapses of drug use. It would provide an opportunity to discuss the social and legal questions and express personal feelings, which might be helpful for personal changes.
Group Therapy Effect
Group therapy might increase the self-efficacy of addicted women in the issues of caring for themselves and their children, professional development, and employment. It was supposed that such improvements might release the tension in these women’s lives, increase their incomes, and result in drugs abandonment. Working in groups allows integrating different strategies of the therapy. Women could share their experience of addiction overcoming, develop new behavioral models, and obtain some new ideas, which might influence their future actions.
The Concept of the Empowerment
Group therapy is recommended as a method for women’s empowerment. The idea of empowerment is significantly important for people who face social and personal pressure, in particular, for women with low self-efficacy and ability to the personal expression. It is claimed that this practice might result in self-efficacy increasing and improving the capacity to act and overcome difficulties. It might lead to lifestyle changes and drugs abandonment.
Different Approaches in the Two Groups
Two groups were included in the study: cognitive-behavioral and experiential. For the cognitive-behavioral group, a time-limited and structured approach was used. The main purpose of the practice was to improve faulty thinking. In contradiction, the experiential group’s therapy was not so strict. Group members could determine the treatment direction and focus on the essential questions and problems. Members of the second group could express their feelings and share a positive and negative experiences.
The Time Frame and Format
In the study, two research cycles for both groups were conducted. The first cycle was performed for three weeks. Overall, six sessions with a 90-minutes length were conducted. The second cycle lasted five weeks. Nine sessions were performed. In general, five intentional activities were used in the therapy:
- Gestalt experiments and the feelings of the drug use expression.
- The prayerful homework and meditation.
- Sharing of the positive women’s lifestyle changes.
- Discussing the successful African American women photos.
- The visual art analysis and discussion.
The Homework Use
The prayerful homework was used in the research. Participants were purposed to create a prayer at home and share it with other group members later. From the group members’ prayer analysis, it was supposed that this practice had a positive, comforting effect on women. It provided an opportunity to contemplate their problems and stress issues and meditate which had a calming effect, according to the data of the investigation.
It could be concluded that the research highlighted the positive aspects of group therapy for drug-addicted women with low income. Participation in group therapy increased the ability of group members to deal with the challenges and to change their lifestyles. In groups, the participants were able to express feelings and thoughts which they were not able to share anywhere else. They admitted the negative effect of the chemical dependency and tried to determine how to improve their lifestyle and abandon drug use.