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Relapse Prevention Groups

Mental Health Center of San Diego

Addiction recovery begins when you decide to seek treatment for yourself to learn to control and overcome the root causes of your addiction. When you’re still in the early stages of healing, it’s normal to only focus on getting through the next day or two. You will, however, come to realize that each passing moment becomes a little easier until you are ready to consider the future.

Addiction treatment is a long-term process that requires implementing strategies to prevent relapse. The benefits of relapse prevention groups attendance extend far beyond your treatment program, as you’ll discover as you learn to live a fulfilling life free of drugs and alcohol.

What are Relapse Prevention Groups?

Relapse prevention is a broad term that could refer to anything from a structured outpatient group that meets once a week to a 12-Step-based group or a cognitive behavioral therapy group. This term generally refers to groups that meet after a more intensive treatment period and assist people in remaining focused on their recovery objectives.

What to Expect From Relapse Prevention Groups in San Diego

Relapse prevention therapy in a group setting uses a variety of techniques. To illustrate, here are five of the most typical:

Functional Analysis Exercise

You’ll learn about the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors connected to your addiction through functional analysis. The ultimate goal is to recognize high-risk behaviors and circumstances that could lead to a relapse. Feelings and thoughts that typically arise before, during, and after drinking/drug use are great examples.

The Centering Exercise

The goal of the centering exercise is to bring the mind and body into a state of relaxation and calm.

Forgetting about the past or worrying about the future can be alleviated by centering yourself. You’ll sit comfortably and straight with your feet on the floor during the centering exercise. After closing your eyes and taking a deep breath through your nose, you exhale slowly through your mouth. If any negative thoughts come up, you’ll be asked about them.

Warning Sign Management Exercise

There are a variety of strategies for dealing with warning signs that you’re on the verge of relapsing. During the exercise, you’ll read your warning sign management strategies aloud to the group. By posing hypothetical “what if” scenarios, the group can help you better anticipate potentially dangerous situations.

By posing hypothetical “what if” scenarios, the group can help you better anticipate potentially dangerous situations.

As part of the life and addition history exercise, you’ll give a 10-minute talk to the group. You explain how you ended up in your current situation and any criminal behavior you may have committed due to your addiction. The group then asks you questions about your life to assist you in identifying the life events that signaled the beginning of your descent into a drug abuse disorder.

You can develop coping strategies to deal with similar situations in the future by better understanding what led to your addiction in the first place.

Sentence Completion Exercise

Preventing a relapse requires the ability to recognize untrue thoughts and erroneous beliefs about oneself, the world, and other people. The sentence completion exercise is a method for discovering and correcting false impressions.

You’ll work together to create a sentence stem – the start of a sentence that has meaning for you. “I know my recovery is in trouble when…” or “When I think about drugs/alcohol I…” are two examples. You write down the stem and then say six to eight different sentence endings. As you speak, other group members will jot down these conclusions. After that, you’ll read the endings aloud to the group and look for a recurring theme involving erroneous beliefs.

Relapse Prevention Therapy is a powerful treatment option that can help you overcome your addiction and avoid relapse. You will better understand your addiction, the feelings that trigger your use, and how to avoid risky situations that frequently result in relapse by participating in the exercises listed above (and others similar to them) in a group setting.

Benefits of Relapse Prevention Groups

There are lots of perks to joining relapse prevention groups in San Diego. Some of these include:

  • Learning From the Experiences of Others
  • Benefitting From a Structured Environment
  • Feeling Comfortable Talking About Challenges
  • Identifying Potential Triggers
  • Finding Positive Ways to Address Cravings