What is the Difference Between Individual & Group Therapy?
Any effective, comprehensive alcohol and drug addiction treatment program will incorporate both individual and group therapies, which are offered in combination to yield optimal results in the recovery process. There are inherent similarities between both individual and group therapy, especially in terms of desired outcomes and the facilitation of psychological healing in those who suffer from addiction; however, there are also some marked differences between individual and group therapy for substance abuse and addiction.
As its name would suggest, individual therapy consists of one-on-one meetings between a patient and a therapist and, as such, is focused on the individual. The course of each therapy session is structured and progresses according to the needs of a patient, affording the therapist or counselor a means of giving personalized guidance, monitoring the individual’s progress, and identifying and addressing some of the individual’s recovery obstacles. Moreover, individual therapy tends to be based on the tenets of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which is an approach to counseling that involves correcting thought patterns so as to foster healthy, productive behaviors. On the other hand, group therapy has a more prominent emphasis on communication, socialization, and the learning of important coping skills. Unlike in individual therapy, the group setting allows individuals to derive support and encouragement from peers, which has shown to be motivating while also encouraging more active participation. Group sessions often offer addiction education, strategies for managing stress and other negative emotions, support for trauma or grief, advice for dealing with relapse triggers and cravings, support for comorbid or co-occurring conditions, and advice for dealing with a variety of different social scenarios.