There are two basic types of therapy, individual therapy, and group therapy. Both can be useful addiction counseling services. When considering individual vs group therapy, it’s important to know that both have advantages. At New Bridge Foundation, we see the inherent value of both of these services and ensure that individuals will have access to individual and group counseling.
With individual therapy, a client meets one on one with a counselor. In group therapy, a number of clients meet with one counselor who facilitates the group experience. The clients are encouraged to engage with each other, and the counselor acts as more of a guide, facilitating connections and observations.
An individual therapy program encompasses several techniques, including such things as cognitive behavioral therapy techniques, discharge planning and assisting individuals in gaining coping strategies that will assist them in remaining clean and sober. Individual sessions may be carried out by licensed therapists, masters leveled individuals awaiting licensure, or certified or registered substance use disorder counselors.
There are several advantages to being able to participate in both individual counseling and group. Some of the advantages of individual counseling include:
- One on one attention allows the client and therapist to form a bond and focus on the client’s issues
- Individual sessions allow the client to work on issues that solely pertain to them
- Clients may be more comfortable discussing certain issues in a one on one setting
- It helps build communication skills, particularly for clients who struggle with communication
Individual therapy allows the client and counselor to develop a strong bond over time. This can help the client to open up and trust the counselor, which can aid in the healing process. Additionally, personal issues that someone wants to focus on individually can be worked on.
With a group therapy program, a group of individuals meets with a counselor. Studi have, in fact, shown that the treatment modality of choice for those struggling with addiction issues in groups. Thus, group counseling has its own set of advantages:
- Clients know that they are not alone
- Giving and receiving support from peers aids in the healing process
- Clients are exposed to different viewpoints
- Clients may feel an acceptance in group counseling that makes them more comfortable talking about their feelings and issues
Recovery can be a very lonely process. Often there’s guilt and shame associated with addiction, and it’s easy to feel like the only one with a problem. Group counseling can bring people in recovery together, allowing them to support each other. Giving and receiving support is equally important and creates positive feelings and relationships.
Each person has his or her own set of experiences and specific views. Individual therapy exposes the client to the opinions of the counselor. Group therapy allows clients to see several viewpoints, which can give them a broader perspective.
Receiving support and knowing that others are dealing with similar issues and struggles can allow clients to build close relationships and gain a feeling of acceptance. Since the other participants are viewed as peers with similar experiences, they may be more likely to talk about aspects that cause them shame.
The Truth About Individual vs Group Therapy
The truth is, for most people, there is not really a question of individual vs group therapy. They are different processes, both with their strengths and weaknesses. In most cases, both individual and group therapy are the best option so that the client can reap the advantages of both.
If an individual is seeking treatment for an addiction, Contact New Bridge Foundation today at 866.772.8491. We embrace both 12 step and alternative programs and have a range of therapeutic options and programs to give each client the treatment that they need.