Gender Group Therapy


Gender group therapy exists because men and women experience addiction differently. Addicts have a long list of reasons why they can’t go to rehab right now, and reasons tend to vary by gender. Generally, men tend to start abusing drugs or alcohol to increase stamina, have a good time or to establish confidence. Women, on the other hand, are often seeking to escape painful emotions caused by trauma. They may also start using drugs or alcohol because their spouse or partner is using them. Being part of a gender group allows clients to openly discuss specific gender issues and directly support their peers. It also creates an opportunity to talk about sensitive topics that are not for larger group consumption. The importance of providing our clients with gender group therapy can’t be overstated.

  • Approximately 4.7 million women in the U.S. have an addiction issue. About 3 million use illegal drugs on a regular basis and 3.6 million abuse prescription medications.
  • Women’s body weight tends to be lower than men’s, and they carry more body fat and less water. Thus, the body will retain alcohol in its fatty cells longer than if it had a higher water content. Additionally, a woman’s internal organs are unprotected from the effects of alcohol for longer.
  • Women have smaller levels of enzymes capable of breaking down alcohol in their stomach and liver. Alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream at a faster rate for women, meaning their blood alcohol content will increase more swiftly than a man who has had the same number of drinks during the same period.


Each gender goes through different challenges that can cause a disruption to the recovery process. For example, men feel more demands from employers about their return to work. At the same time, working moms feel enormous guilt for being apart from their kids and they get pressure from their jobs too. In fact, a lot of women with children leave addiction treatment prematurely because of this burdensome fear.

Additionally, women undergoing addiction rehab can face a host of issues, including:

  • Secret sex addiction
  • Shortage of outside help
  • Low self-esteem
  • Hormonal shifts
  • Childcare worries


Addiction is a disease that affects both men and women, but that doesn’t mean each gender benefits from the same approach to addiction therapy. Since males and females identify differently, it stands to reason that their experiences with substance abuse will also look dissimilar.

These experiences form part of the criteria considered when establishing an individualized treatment plan. It’s possible to use some general modalities when determining the best ways to get a client on the road to addiction recovery. Gender-specific treatment programs have many advantages, as they address the sensitive needs of each group in treatment and provide a safe, supportive group of individuals. In gender-specific treatment. There are also less distractions. Being around a member of the opposite sex in treatment can turn out to be a distraction, as it generates psychological, emotional, or physical sexual tension. Clients may become drawn to each other or frightened to open-up around each other.

Many of these benefits bring about positive changes in these important areas.

  • Self-esteem
  • Anger management
  • Family dynamics
  • Body image
  • Coping
  • Healthy emotions

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  • 2200 Main Street, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, 29926
  • 866.470.2187