There was unfortunately a time when many people thought that going to therapy was a sign of weakness. But of course, this isn’t (and has never been) the case, and more and more people are starting to take advantage of therapy and similar tools to aid in recovery.
In fact, the number of Americans who received mental health treatment/counseling is rising. In addition to helping with mental health struggles, therapy can be wonderful for those looking to beat their substance abuse problems.
Whether you go to therapy at a treatment center like Behavioral Health Centers or somewhere else, it can provide a ton of benefits on your road to recovery. But when it comes to therapy there are a couple options that you have.
These are individual therapy and group therapy. This guide is going to take a closer look at each of them, and go over their pros and cons to help you make the right choice.
One of the biggest pros about individual therapy is the amount of one-on-one time you get with the counselor. The session is focused solely on you, and can be customized to deal with your exact problems. Larger sessions with more people will tend to be more general in nature, and you may not get the specific assistance you require.
Individual therapy is also very private and confidential, as no one will have to know you are there or what types of things you are talking about. This is very important for many people who are simply not comfortable speaking about their issues in front of others.
The flexibility of individual therapy is another major benefit. Because you and the counselor are the only people involved, it is much easier to be flexible when it comes to scheduling the session.
Of course, there are also some potential drawbacks to be aware of when it comes to individual therapy. First of all, it doesn’t provide you with any of the peer-to-peer interaction that you get within group therapy. Sometimes, it is good to see and hear that there are other people going through a similar struggle to the one you are experiencing.
You also need to be self-motivated when it comes to individual therapy, as there are no other peers to keep you accountable. You truly need to be ready and willing to make an improvement for individual therapy to benefit you.
Also, the cost of individual therapy is something you need to think about. Because the session is solely dedicated to you, you need to be the one to pay for it. Individual therapy will almost always cost more than group therapy will.
If you prefer group therapy as an option, you will be pleased to know it offers several different benefits as well. First and foremost, it is an affordable option as you aren’t the only participant, so the cost is split up amongst a number of people.
Group therapy is also great because it helps provide assurance to you and others that you’re not alone. Seeing others going through and battling against similar things to yourself fosters camaraderie, and it can motivate you to get past your issues for good.
These types of therapies also help people build up their communication skills, and can assist them in becoming more self-aware, too. Also, the role of accountability in sobriety is a big one, and having others in your group therapy to keep you accountable can help you on your journey.
Being able to give and receive support from others can be incredibly special, and can help you bond with others and potentially create lifelong friends, which you may not have even had the chance to meet if you simply do individual therapy.
While a good choice, there are also some things to be careful with when it comes to group therapy. One thing that many people don’t like is that this sort of therapy doesn’t provide you with the same one-on-one attention that individual therapy does.
The things you focus on may not be specifically aimed at you, and you may find that other attendees demand more attention than yourself. Also, these groups are less flexible as they meet at specific times and on specific days, which may not always fit in your schedule.
The lack of confidentiality and privacy is also a concern for some, as they don’t like a lot of people knowing about their issues. While most people will keep things they learned and talked about private, there is always the risk of things being leaked.
Also, in a group setting, many people may not actually make the right changes in their life, and simply try and hang on to the success of others. It is easy to blend in with the crowd and avoid being held accountable when you are in group therapy.
We hope that this article has helped you learn a little bit more about the pros and cons of both individual and group therapies in substance rehab.