Episode 37 | Men’s Relapse Prevention Groups

The Group Work Podcast. Find out what happens in the space where group therapy takes place.

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Lori McGruder joins Katie to discuss her men’s relapse prevention group. Many doctors and teachers struggling with substance use join Lori’s group - this makes the work more challenging but the group composition also provides a unique experience for its members. For example, physicians are reminded that other physicians face the same problems they do. Throughout the conversation, they discuss what it’s like to run a substance use therapy group, what to do when someone relapses, and why group therapy can be better than private therapy in these instances. 

Lori McGruder is an EMDRIA approved EMDR therapist and Board Certified National Counselor. She has been providing counseling services for more than 20 years.


[00:00] Who is Lori McGruder? 

[01:37] Why she specialized in substance use treatment. 

[05:04] Navigating self-disclosure in substance use groups.

[06:49] Professionals not wanting to be seen as someone with a substance use problem - how to work this out in a group.

[13:26] Working on the destigmatization of addiction. 

[13:52] Relapse prevention group overview. 

[19:28] Building a group that is almost self-led. 

[21:23] What happens if somebody relapses? (how to deal with relapse in the group)

[24:35] Reasons why group therapy is sometimes more effective than private therapy for substance use. 

[28:05] How to connect with Lori McGruder.


 3 Key Takeaways 

  1. People recovering from substance use disorders may not be fully aware of how their substance use has affected their family members. This can be deeply explored during group.
  2. Professionals that are known in their community (like teachers and doctors) walk into a session with a substance use counselor they may manifest arrogance. For example, they may say “do you know who I am?”. One way to answer this question is to say “yes, I do. You are someone with a substance use disorder and you have been referred here because you have a problem. I am someone that can help you with that”
  3. The less you as a therapist talk in a group, the better the group. 


Tools & Resources

Connect with Lori McGruder: Website | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter

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