At one point or another, some of us have endured hard times. It could be due to a loss or trauma, or maybe, the burden of stress and anxiety. These things can take a toll on your mental well-being, and that’s when therapy can offer you support and comfort. You can opt for individual therapy or group sessions.
Whether you’re getting therapy to help you cope or perhaps you’re planning to incorporate it in your mental health care routine, finding the ideal approach that can help you best in your journey is important.
With that in mind, this article will highlight some of the advantages of individual therapy over group therapy.
Perhaps one of the evident advantages of individual therapy is that it allows for high levels of confidentiality. Since you’re only sharing your personal experiences with your therapist, the likelihood of this information getting to a third party is impossible. More so, much like doctors, therapists also abide by a code of ethics. This means that every session, you can be assured that they’ll protect your privacy, and much so, the confidentiality of the things you’ll be talking about.
The same can’t be said with group therapies. While the session attendees are always asked and reminded to keep any information disclosed private, there’s no assurance that they’ll keep things confidential. There may be some individuals who will possibly be disclosing private matters to other people. In some cases, this can make the situation worse for the affected member of the group.
The attention during individual therapy is solely focused on you. This can significantly be beneficial to you since your therapist will be able to address your concerns and issues more uniquely, understanding your needs from a personal level. The therapy session can then be more focused on your feelings and thoughts. Since it’s more hands-on, it is believed to yield more positive changes and results.
While with group therapy, the therapist caters to many individuals in a given session. Hence, their attention is divided across the group. Although it is true that each attendee is given their own time to share, the therapist might not be able to address their concerns on a more personal level.
More so, the interaction might be limited. For instance, individuals who are more likely to be sociable might find it easy to warm up to the group and be comfortable opening up to share their stories. The same can’t be said with individuals who have shy personalities. They may need more time to build their confidence before speaking up. In this case, the effectiveness of group therapy gets affected, and much so, it gets reduced.
As previously stated, individual therapy allows for a more comprehensive focus on your needs. Aside from the time and attention, your therapist’s energy is focused on you too. Since you’re getting a more in-depth and hands-on approach and treatment, you’re gaining better progress.
Individual therapy also enables direct feedback from your therapist. They can inform you of your progress and areas they think are yet to be addressed. In addition, they can pay more attention to your needs. That way, you’ll get the most out of your therapy sessions, progressing your recovery process.
On the other hand, progress might be limited with group therapy. In some cases, you’ll most likely feel fulfilled in a session where you’ve expressed yourself, but what about the other sessions when you might not get the chance to talk? It can feel as if it’s one step forward and then two steps backward which can hinder healthy progress.
In most cases, you get to be boss when it comes to individual therapy. This means that you get to decide when your therapy sessions will be held. Individual therapy can give you the freedom and flexibility to choose a schedule based on your availability and even well-being at a given time.
Moreover, the pacing and number of sessions can also be dependent on your progress. Your therapist is there to accommodate you to ensure your continuous progress. If they’re seeing promising progress, sessions might be reduced.
However, group therapy works the other way around. You have to fit into the set schedules. Failure to do so, you’ll miss out on a session. There’s no room for flexibility due to the number of individuals involved.
Most importantly, the needs of each individual vary, and more so, their progress. The pacing of one patient might not work with the other. With that in mind, it can be challenging to keep up and go along with the group’s flow if you aren’t ready.
Going on therapy can be a great way to help you open up and cope with your personal problems and concerns. With that in mind, it’s important that you carefully think about which therapy approach can best work for you.
Hopefully, this article has given you insights into the benefits of choosing individual therapy over group therapy.