Individual vs Group Therapy

Individual vs Group Therapy - Freedom From Addiction

A person’s approach to rehab and recovery is as unique as a fingerprint. There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to therapy, and it can take you a while to find what works for you. That is all part of the process, and it is important not to be discouraged when something doesn’t work, or you feel like you are failing. When something isn’t working it just means that you need to find a different method, person or facility that speaks to you.

One of the many aspects of recovery is therapy. Therapy is not only a huge part of rehab programs but is also supposed to continue after the initial rehab process, and therapy is usually a lifelong process for someone suffering from addiction. There are two kinds of treatment available to you, group therapy and individual therapy. It is important to think of the pros and cons of each so you can get the greatest benefit from your recovery.

Group Therapy Pros

There is a built-in support system in group therapy. It helps you know that you are not the only person in the world suffering from addiction. You can see other people’s successes and failures with their addiction. It helps you not only to be more self-aware but also to see that although the road may be difficult, that recovery is achievable.

It can be helpful for those with difficulty sharing and speaking about their addiction. Often in group settings having to talk at every gathering is not a requirement, so you can observe until you feel comfortable sharing.

Instead of receiving criticism from a clinician, you receive it from others like you within the group, which can help you be more receptive to family and friends comments.

Group therapy is also more financially feasible, as most groups do not charge for attendance.

Group Therapy Cons

The attention is not on you. So unless you do eventually throw yourself into the conversation regularly, no one will force you to participate. Your active participation is required for group therapy to be helpful.

Groups tend to meet at specific times, to fit a broader clientele. While you may be able to find a meeting close to you, it may not be in a time slot that you can attend. Or perhaps the reverse is true.

It is a very regimented and broad style of therapy, as it has to be able to fit all sorts of treatment styles present.

Confidentiality is limited. While anonymity is usually a part of group therapy, the chance is still there that you might know someone who attends those same meetings.

Individual Therapy Pros

You can tailor the therapeutic process to your needs in individual therapy. Since you are meeting one-on-one with a therapist, after a few initial meetings, they can set up a treatment plan suited specifically to you.

You can control the speed and frequency of the sessions. You do not have to rely on a generic timetable or specific meeting times. You can make the schedule meet your needs with individual therapy.

You can create a deeper bond with your therapist, which is beneficial to recovery, as trust allows you to be more open and receptive to the process.

You have the peace of mind of total confidentiality.

If you find yourself in a time of crisis, your therapist is more easily accessible and might even be able to see you as soon as possible.

Individual therapy is beneficial to those with a dual diagnosis.

Individual Therapy Cons

One unfortunate side effect of individual therapy is that it can cost money and can be harder to fund through health insurance.

It can be more difficult for those that are shy to open up to someone quickly in individual therapy. The reticence to open up can slow the recovery process as you need to want to do the work involved in recovery.

You won’t be able to find other individuals who are going through the same thing in individual therapy.

You will be more receptive to recovery when something works for you. Take the time to think about your personality and what type of therapy you feel drawn to and it is okay to move on to a different method if the current one isn’t working for you. Recovery is meant to suit you, your needs and your addiction, not someone else’s.

If you or someone you know is experiencing addiction, developing an adequate treatment plan is essential to achieve recovery. A free service like Freedom From Addiction can be of help to explore the different treatment options available. For 24/7 assistance, call 1.855.RECOVER or 1.855.732.6837.

Sydney DeZinno is a writer from Tucson, AZ. A graduate of the University of Arizona, she an active advocate that is passionate about addiction recovery and helping those in crisis.

 | Twitter @sdezinno

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