Most treatment centers offer a variety of different kinds of therapy to ensure that patients get a well-rounded and complete opportunity to recover in all aspects of their health. Relying on one type of therapy may not be as effective as people have unique needs and benefit the most from having several approaches to treatment. Combining individual and group therapy is often a key element in most treatment programs.
Individual therapy and group therapy both offer patients a chance to talk about what they are going through but in different environments. The two therapies are similar in some respects and very distinct in others. Having the contrast of both can make it possible for patients to get the most out of their treatment.
Let’s have detail view of what is exactly Individual therapy and Group Therapy. The detail view of how it works and benefits of both therapies.
What is Individual Therapy?
One of the most obvious differences between individual and group therapy is that individual therapy is one on one. The patient will sit in a room, typically with only one therapist, and speak confidentially about personal issues.
Individual therapy is conducted in a private setting for the treatment of psychological or addiction problems. The therapist works one-on-one with a patient. It is customized and tailored to an individual’s needs. Individual therapy goes in-depth on the problems of the individual like co-occurring disorders and focuses on exploring ways to alleviate symptoms.
Benefits of Individual Therapy
The advantage of individual therapy is mainly that it is all confidential and the patient is able to receive more focused attention. The therapist will get to know the patient, have a deeper understanding of all of their specific problems and be able to guide them in an individualized approach.
Here are major benefits of individual therapy:
No fear of judgment:
In an individual therapy session, you can speak freely in private without the fear of being judged. There is no tension of anybody judging you based on the information you share.
Individual therapy is customized to suit your medical condition. It will address the issues that are specific to you. Your therapist can use mental imagery and visualization as tools to overcome certain conditions.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), restricts mental health providers from sharing your information with anyone else. This is a professional code of conduct. Individual therapy will help you to talk freely and openly about your fears and experiences. There are no group members that might share your personal information in an individual therapy session.
You can schedule your therapy sessions. These sessions are shorter in length because you are the only participating member.
During individual therapy each patient can discuss aspects of their personal history, family life, past traumas or anything that they feel may be contributing to their current mental health or behavioral problems. Therapists will also ask questions in order to determine what may be at the root of their disorder. In this environment, patients can build trust with the therapist and develop a relationship that helps them become more self-aware.
What is Group Therapy?
Group Therapy is a form of therapy where a medical provider works with a small group of patients in every session. It helps in treatments like depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), trauma, etc.
In group therapy, several different patients all speak to one therapist who addresses the group as a whole and individually in front of the others. This format can lend itself to a feeling of community that is not available in personal sessions with a therapist.
The purpose of group therapy is to make an environment for the patients where they can understand that they are not alone and how others are coping with their problems. A group session will involve anywhere between 5 to 20 people with disorders that require similar treatment. There can be more than one health provider in certain cases.
Benefits of Group Therapy
In group therapy, patients take turn speaking and addressing the therapist and the rest of the group to talk about their struggles, their progress and share their thoughts at that moment. Being a part of a group can help patients feel that they are not alone in their problems as most of the others in treatment are experiencing many of the same feelings and issues. People can also experience a greater feeling of connection in a group instead of the sometimes one-sided relationship of therapist to patient.
Followings are major benefits of Group Therapy:
In a group therapy session, you will learn a lot about your condition and also about those in your group. Listening to others in the group and helping them will gain you self-esteem.
Develop socializing skills:
In a group therapy session, you can interact with others in the group and develop social skills without the fear of failure.
You can be hesitant in talking about your issues at first. But listening to others will give you a better perspective on your problems. You will have access to what others are doing to cope with similar experiences.
You are not alone:
The biggest fear of someone with an addiction or mental health disorder is judgment. Joining group therapy will instantly reassure you that you are not alone in this journey of healing. Everybody is on their journey.
Improved relationship and dynamics:
A group therapy session helps you recreate dynamics and relationships in a safe and monitored environment.
Being a part of a group can be more motivating for some people that feel uncomfortable with being the center of attention. The group dynamic may make them feel that they want to make progress to keep up with their peers and work toward goals that others are working on as well. The support that they receive from others in the group may also act as a great motivating factor.
Individual Therapy vs. Group Theory – Which one is better?
No two individuals will have the same mental health condition. The time it takes to recover and where they are in their journey to healing will also not be the same. Therefore there can be no definitive answer to individual therapy vs group therapy. Which one is better? It will vary from person to person.
Research published in 2017 examined military personnel who took part in therapy for PTSD and found that individual therapy was more effective.
Another study published in the Journal of American College Health did not find any differences in the results of group therapy and individual therapy.
In other words, both forms of therapy are effective and have their advantages. A combination of both therapies works best.
Incorporating Both Therapies
Although individual and group therapy both have certain advantages over the other, it is really the combination of the two that creates the most effective recovery program. There are certain things that patients need from both individual and group therapy so that utilizing both will help them achieve greater wellness. Instead of relying solely on one or the other, patients can experience the benefits of both treatment plans in order develop more useful skills.
For those looking into treatment centers, make sure that the program has highly experienced and trained therapists that can provide both individual and group therapy for the best results. If you are interested in recovery then understanding the treatment center’s balance between group and individual therapy can give you an idea of what to expect when you first enter the program.
Luxury Rehab offers one of the best addiction treatment centers in California that provides evidence-based and customized treatments for mental health and addiction treatment. They have experienced health experts providing individual and group therapy according to patients’ requirements.