Addiction is a growing problem, the breadth and insidiousness of which our society is only just beginning to comprehend. Didactic group therapy (often presented simply as “didactic therapy”) is based on an educational model designed and developed to help with the fostering of skills like self-informing and self-educating. It is widely used therapeutically to help addicts break the vicious cycle of addiction. Didactic therapy typically focuses on the abuse of substances which are inherently dangerous, using visual media and other aids in a classroom-style setting to help addicts learn to recognize the consequences of substance abuse. This is done in a deliberately low-key manner.
Here are 5 of the best benefits of Didactic group therapy:
Didactic Therapy Encourages Rational Thinking
Rational, logical thought processes are easy to discard when we become emotionally involved, or identify with a negative influence. By encouraging a rational approach to analysis and problem-solving within an individual’s life, Didactic methods encourage more generally responsible and reliable behavior, improving overall self-discipline and personal confidence.
The Instructional Model Includes Valuable Life Skills
The Didactic method is a teaching method that is often employed in early childhood education. In this environment, it helps children learn how to do things like organize their work, perform research, cite references appropriately, and generally guide their own studies, in lieu of relying upon a teacher’s repeated instructions for each individual assignment. Used therapeutically, this method can help to impart basic life skills which are not self-evident, and may not have been picked up as children or young adults.
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Group Therapy Sessions Provide a Supportive Environment
Didactic sessions occur in an environment with other people, all of whom face similar issues within their own lives. This can be used to generate a deeply supportive environment, where everyone is able to grow and develop their coping skills in the company of other people who are doing the same. It helps to remove the feeling of being critically analyzed, or otherwise reduced to a “case study” or a statistic, as addicts are often the subjects of harsh judgments outside of any context.
The Therapy Involves Widely Applicable Coping Strategies
Part of the therapy involved in the Didactic model involves the instruction of valuable skills. These skills are a mixture of commonly effective relapse avoidance strategies and personalized coping skills that fit the individual addict’s needs. These skills will help an individual to avoid relapsing into their addiction, but they are also applicable in other parts of their lives. By constructively coping with that which previously drove them to their substance of choice, an addict is better enabled to resist other destructive influence elsewhere (different substances, addictive behaviors, and physical abuse, for instance).
Didactic Therapy Lacks Emotional Intensity
Didactic therapy occurs in an academic environment, an almost classroom-like setting, and uses visual aids to help drive home the realities of substance abuse in a way that is not accusatory or high-strung. This allows for the intended message to be picked up by people who don’t feel like their entire existence is being judged or criticized. Many older approaches to substance abuse accused the individuals suffering from said addiction of being somehow weak or faulty as people; that kind of approach is more likely to drive a person to continue abusing.
In short, the application of Didactic group therapy relies upon a safe and comfortable setting to help people with substance abuse challenges break the cycle of their addictions. It does this constructively, through the building of self-esteem, life skills, and coping mechanisms, all of which offer the potential for a strong positive impact throughout the addict’s life and day-to-day activities.