Addiction Counseling: Is Group Therapy Better Than One To One Sessions?

addiction counseling

Group therapy was started way back before World War II by a physician called Dr. J. H. Pratt. He discovered that patients suffering from tuberculosis were able to support one another in a meeting. After World War II, group psychotherapy became popular and was mostly used to treat combat veterans suffering from PTSD.

Today, addiction counseling is provided to recovering drug addicts and it comes in two forms; group therapy or individual therapy. Group therapy is when one or more therapists provide addiction counseling to more than one individual while individual therapy is when one or more therapists work with a single individual.

Advantages Of Group Therapy

  • Group therapy allows individuals to develop a sense of belongingness, identity and the release of stress and tension. Individuals in a group share their issues and this helps them to understand that they are facing the same struggles and issues as other people.
  • Since individuals in a group therapy are able to share their struggles freely, they are able to receive and give support to one another which helps to develop a broader therapeutic alliance. Through the process, members share a sense of goals which fosters improvement.
  • Members in a group therapy become more open when discussing their issues. They have few reservations since they identify with other members.
  • Individuals in a group become more self-aware and develop an insight into their own struggles by listening to others share of their experiences.
  • Being in a group allows an individual to develop social skills, communication abilities and allows him or her to learn to accept criticism from others.
  • Lifelong friendships are sometimes fostered from group therapies which enable individuals to help each other stay sober even after the treatment program.

Advantages Of Individual Therapy

  • An individual is able to receive full attention from the therapist. This results in an intense therapeutic experience which allows quick recovery.
  • The therapist gets a better understanding of the client and is able to monitor the progress. In turn, the client gets a direct feedback about his or her progress.
  • Individuals are more comfortable sharing about their issues and struggles to a therapist, since they are assured of confidentiality. Knowing that no one will learn about their issues, allows individuals to speak freely about their deepest fears and anxieties.
  • One on one therapy sessions can be tailored to suit an individual’s needs, unlike in the group therapy where the sessions are paced to meet the needs of the slowest members.
  • Individual therapy can be adjusted to fit the client’s schedule which is convenient for clients who don’t need inpatient treatment.

Before starting your journey to addiction treatment, you need to visit a rehab center and allow a therapist to assess you first before starting on addiction counseling. A therapist will advise you which form of counseling therapy you need depending on your needs. Addiction counseling is a great way to deal with deep rooted issues that may be the cause of your drug abuse in the first place. If you need addiction treatment, ensure that you seek help as soon as possible.

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