When selecting a psychotherapeutic approach for a client, you must consider the unique needs and characteristics of that particular client. The same is true when selecting a psychotherapeutic approach for groups. Not every approach is appropriate for every group, and the group’s unique needs and characteristics must be considered. For this Assignment, you examine psychotherapeutic approaches to group therapy for addiction.

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Evaluate psychotherapeutic approaches to group therapy for addiction
To prepare:
  • Review this week’s Learning Resources and reflect on the insights they provide on group therapy for addiction.
  • View the media, Levy Family: Sessions 1-7, and consider the psychotherapeutic approaches being used.

The Assignment

In a 2- to 3-page paper, address the following:

  • Identify the psychotherapeutic approach that the group facilitator is using and explain why she might be using this approach.
  • Determine whether or not you would use the same psychotherapeutic approach if you were the counselor facilitating this group and justify your decision.
  • Identify an alternative approach to group therapy for addiction and explain why it is an appropriate option.
  • Support your position with evidence-based literature.

Levy Family Episode 7

Levy Family Episode 7
Program Transcript

FEMALE SPEAKER: How did you find out?

MALE SPEAKER: There’s a guy who served in our platoon. He didn’t call. Wrote
an email. He said it would bother him too much if he talked about it.

Sorry to be the one who tells you that Eric committed suicide last night. The last
time I saw him, he said he was adjusting to civilian life pretty well. His girlfriend
told me it wasn’t true. She said he told everyone he was doing fine.

But the nightmares kept after him even when he wasn’t sleeping. It just tore him
up. I guess he decided he’d had enough. He ended it with a service revolver.
Marine to the end.

FEMALE SPEAKER: I’m sorry, Jake.

MALE SPEAKER: Thank you. You know, I spend almost every night in front of
the TV, drinking until I can’t remember anything else. But I read that email last
night, and I didn’t drink a drop. I just kept thinking about Eric. You know we went
through Parris Island together?

FEMALE SPEAKER: I didn’t know that.

MALE SPEAKER: Yeah. I didn’t turn on the TV, either. I went straight to the
computer. And before I knew it, I was reading about veterans and suicide. They
say about 22 veterans commit suicide every day, 22. That’s like one every hour.
Makes it sound like we’re time bombs. Makes you wonder which one of us is
going to go off next.

FEMALE SPEAKER: You sound glad that you didn’t drink last night.

MALE SPEAKER: Yeah. I’ve been trying to quit for my wife. But that email– you
know what else I read online? I checked all over with the VA, but it doesn’t look
like they do anything to help prevent suicide. I mean, they offer help if you ask for
it, but no prevention.

Who’s going to ask for help, right? They train you to be stronger than everyone
else, to endure. Asking for help is just not something most men do.

FEMALE SPEAKER: Do you need help, Jake?

MALE SPEAKER: I need a lot, but not like that. I’m not ready to check out yet. I
got a baby on the way.

© 2017 Laureate Education, Inc. 1

Levy Family Episode 7

I found out something else. I was reading about this veteran who committed
suicide in another state. And they started this program in his memory that brings
other vets together to help each other.

FEMALE SPEAKER: Peer counseling?

MALE SPEAKER: Yeah, that’s it. And I spent the whole rest of the night thinking,
why don’t we have something like that? We should be reaching out t

Levy Family Episode 6

Levy Family Episode 6
Program Transcript

FEMALE SPEAKER: I know three of you did tours of duty in Iraq, and the others
in Afghanistan. So I just wanted to follow up on that, talk about how you’re


MALE SPEAKER 1: You say adjust to, but there’s no adjustment. You’re just
thrown back into your life like you’re supposed to pick up where you left off, but
that’s a joke. Two years ago, I was dug in, pinned down by 50 Cal sniper fire, just
praying the chopper would get me out alive. Now, the hardest part of my day is
standing in the grocery store trying to decide if I want yellow or brown mustard

with my hot dogs.

JAKE: Nah, two six packs or a case.

FEMALE SPEAKER: You find that you drink more than you used to?

JAKE: Why not ask him if he finds he’s eating more hot dogs than he used to?

BILL: You know why?

JAKE: Why is that? Oh great, Buddha.

BILL: Because I’ve been where you are. You talk about booze like it’s some joke,

but nobody’s laughing. You can’t get adjusted to anything when you’re trying to

get loaded.

JAKE: I guess you won’t be joining me for a drink at the bar later. I was going to


FEMALE SPEAKER: No, that’s a good point, Bill. Sometimes we do things to

avoid dealing with unpleasant feelings, like adjusting to life back at home.

JAKE: What do you know about it? Give me a break. Back off, or I’ll make you.

BILL: I drink too much too. But I’ve had enough of you mouthing off.

JAKE: My wife’s had enough of me too. She’s the reason I’m here. We never

used to fight. I never used to drink so much, but now I can’t stop myself from

doing either.

FEMALE SPEAKER: So why do you drink too much?

© 2017 Laureate Education, Inc. 1

Levy Family Episode 6

BILL: It’s the only way I can shut it out, images of what I saw over there, horrible
things that no one should ever have to see. I wake up some nights and I hear
mortar rounds coming in. And I reach for my helmet and my weapon, but they’re
not there. So I freak out.

And then I see pretty curtains. TV’S on. And then I remember I’m at home. I
realize I’m not going to get blown up after all.

FEMALE SPEAKER: Thanks for sharing, Jake. You make a good point. It can
seem a lot easier to self medicate rather than face the fears, the bad memories
that we have. So what do you think? What are some other things, maybe, you do
to avoid the challenge to being a civilian again?

Levy Family Episode 4

Levy Family Episode 4
Program Transcript

FEMALE SPEAKER: So do you want to try to go back to what you’re telling me

LEVY: I can try. It was night. We were out on patrol. I remember it was so hot
packed in our vehicle. Suddenly there was an explosion. We got tossed into a
ditch. And somehow I made it out, and I could see it was the Humvee behind us.
It’s whole front end was gone. It had hit a roadside bomb. Our vehicle had just
driven past it, just mistriggering it. But not them. They didn’t make it.

FEMALE SPEAKER: Remember how we practiced. Slow your breathing down.
Inhale and exhale from your abdomen.

LEVY: Thank you.

FEMALE SPEAKER: And just take your time. Whenever you are ready.

LEVY: So the bomb went off. I managed to get out. I had my night vision goggles
on. And I could see the Humvee, the one that got hit. It’s whole front end was
gone. And there’s this crater in the road. And inside it I could see– I could see
Kurt’s– our platoon Sergeant, he was lying there everything below his waist was
gone, blown off. And he was screaming. Screaming like nothing you’d ever

And then he was looking at me. And he was screaming for me to kill him. To stop
his suffering. He was yelling, please. Please. And someone tried putting
tourniquets on him. But the ground just kept getting darker with his blood. And I
was staring into his face.

I had my rifle trained on him. I was going to do it. You know. He was begging me
to. I could feel my finger on the trigger. And I kept looking into his face. And then
I didn’t have to do nothing. Because the screaming had stopped. He’d bled out.
Died right there.

And all I could think was I’d let him down. His last request, and I couldn’t do it. I
couldn’t put a bullet in him so he could die fast not slow.

FEMALE SPEAKER: I can see and hear how painful it is for you to relive this
story. Thank you for sharing it. Do you think this incident is behind some of the
symptoms you’ve been telling me about?

LEVY: When I go to sleep at night, I close my eyes, and I see Kurt’s there staring
at me. So I don’t sleep too good. That’s why I started drinking. It’s the only way I

© 2013 Laureate Education, Inc. 1

Levy Family Episode 4

can forget about that night. So I drink too much. At least that’s what my wife yells
at me.

We’re not doing too well these days. I’m not exactly the life of the party. I left Iraq
10 months ago. But Iraq never left me. I’m afraid it’s never going to leave me

Levy Family Episode 3

Levy Family Episode 3
Program Transcript

JAKE LEVY: We’d be out on recon in our Humvees, and it would get so hot. We
used to put our water bottles in wet socks and hang them right outside the
window just so the water would cool off of a bit, and maybe then you could drink

Man, it was cramped in there. You’d be drenched, nowhere to breathe. It’s like
riding around in an oven. And you’d have your helmet on you, 100 pounds of
gear and ammo. I swear, sometimes I feel like it’s still on me, like it’s all still
strapped on me.

FEMALE SPEAKER: How many tours did you do in Iraq?

JAKE LEVY: Three. After that last recon, I just– There were 26 of us. Five
marines in the Humvee I was in. I remember I was wearing my night vision
goggles. We passed through a village and everything was green, like I was in a
dream or under water.

And then there was a flash, bright light just blinded me. There was this explosion.
I can’t– I can’t–

FEMALE SPEAKER: It’s OK, Jake. Take it easy. I understand this is difficult.
There’s something I;d like to try with you. It’s called exposure therapy, and it’s a
treatment that’s used a lot with war veterans, especially those struggling with
anxiety and PTSD.

JAKE LEVY: Exposure therapy?

FEMALE SPEAKER: Yes. It’s to help someone like yourself to confront your
feelings and anxieties about a traumatic situation that you’ve experienced. It’s a–
It’s meant to help you get more control of your thoughts, to make sense of what’s
happened, and to not be so afraid of your memories.

JAKE LEVY: Put that in a bottle and I’ll buy 10 cases of it.

FEMALE SPEAKER: Well, one part of it is learning to control your breathing. And
when you practice that, you can learn to manage your anxiety, to get more
control of it, not let it control you, to protect yourself. Do you want to try it?

JAKE LEVY: Right now?


JAKE LEVY: Why not?

© 2017 Laureate Education, Inc. 1

Levy Family Episode 3

FEMALE SPEAKER: OK. Well, I know this sounds crazy, but a lot of people don’t
breathe properly. And it really comes from bad habits. When they inhale and
exhale, all the effort is here in their chest and shoulders. And the problem with
that is you get a really short, shallow breath. And that really increases the stress
and anxiety in your body.

Instead, a more natural breath should always involve your diaphragm, right