Most treatment programs offer a hybrid of individual and group therapy sessions, which has proven to be effective in creating substantial progress for the healing process. While individual therapy sessions can offer a set pace for a patient’s growth and therapeutic work, the speed of group therapy sessions can be somewhat unpredictable due to the many different paths and personalities among participants.
Individual therapy is a private therapeutic session between a therapist and a patient, without involvement from any other parties, unless intentional. During individual therapy, all of the focus and attention of the therapist are on the patient’s needs, history, and progress.
A tight relationship of trust, confidence, safety, and security is formed between a therapist and patient during individual therapy sessions. Some therapists utilize specific goals and approaches like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Motivational Interviewing. This is also an appropriate venue for intensive trauma work through interventions such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). In contrast, others may opt for a classical “Talk Therapy” approach by letting the patient guide the sessions in a very conversational way. Whatever methods are chosen, the journey is designed to be intimate and personal.
Group therapy is in a setting with multiple people and one to two therapists as facilitators. Some group therapy sessions are merely processing sessions, opening up the floor for individuals to share, process, and offer each other feedback. Other group therapy sessions might be focused on a particular subject. For example, in treatment for substance use disorders, there are often group therapy sessions focused on trauma, substance use disorders, cognitive behavioral therapy skills, relationship issues, 12-Step principles and more.
The most significant benefit of a group setting is the ability of an individual to hear and share in the stories and experiences of others. Though individual therapy can feel like a safer space than a group therapy room, for many people, it is easier to self-reflect with others acting as a mirror. Meaning, there are more opportunities for self-reflection when listening to others, as well as watching others share bravely about their feelings.
By interacting with others in a therapeutic setting, individuals have a chance to put listening and communication skills into practice by offering and receiving feedback. Feedback is perhaps one of the essential parts of group therapy, providing an opportunity to take responsibility, maintain accountability, and continue to grow through encouragement, as well as humility.
Most importantly, group therapy helps individuals know that they are not alone in their thoughts, their feelings, or their life experiences. Through group therapy, individuals can feel more connected to others, to themselves, and their therapeutic journey as a whole.
Origins Behavioral Healthcare is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance abuse, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety. For information on our programs, call us today: 561-841-1296.