A comprehensive recovery program will give patients access to a wide range of therapies and treatments. Group therapy and individual therapy are both integral components of any quality drug rehabilitation program. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between individual treatment and group treatment, the advantages and how both are critical to long term recovery.
These two approaches to treatment should not be at odds with one another. Instead, both types of therapy should be tailored to the needs of the patient. The insights gained during an individual session of therapy combined with the support and belonging experienced with a group session can help the patient towards a very successful outcome.
One of the most important aspects of drug rehabilitation is exploring the psychological underpinnings of the addiction. Individual therapy is a highly effective means of achieving this.
During an individual therapy session, a qualified mental health professional will work closely with their patient in private sessions. The aim of these sessions are for the health professional to gain insight and for the patient to acquire self-knowledge and a stronger sense of identity. The health professional will build a frame of therapy that dictates when and where the sessions will be held, how progress will be measured and what responsibilities will be given to the patient. For example, the patient may be asked to keep a diary and to present this at each session.
Barriers to recovery
Withdrawal symptoms and cravings
Goals for the future, both short and long term
Integrating new coping strategies
A critical factor in individual therapy is confidentiality. These sessions encourage and allow patients to talk openly about their thoughts, emotions and behaviours with their therapist.
Specifically tailored to the needs of the patient, individual therapy offers many advantages to those who participate. Some of these advantages include the following:
Where individual therapy is conducted on a one-on-one basis, group therapy is conducted in a group of 6-8 people. These sessions are designed to teach patients new coping mechanisms, to build communication and social skills and to gain strength and insight from their peers. It can be very comforting for patients to learn that others in the group are experiencing similar symptoms, emotional problems and issues with interpersonal relationships.
In a group therapy session, the group is led by a trained mental health professional. These sessions typically last one to two hours depending on how the recovery program is structured. Patients usually observe set speaking time limits so that everybody has a chance to speak and that the therapist can gain good insight into each member of the group. These sessions are usually held daily in a residential setting and can be a great way for patients to experience a sense of belonging and camaraderie.
Psychoeducation, otherwise known as education on addiction
Learning how to cope with triggering situations
Managing uncomfortable emotions, such as guilt, anger, shame and resentment
Managing withdrawal symptoms and cravings
Living with emotional trauma and grief
Dealing effectively with a relapse if it occurs
Forming boundaries and maintaining healthy relationships
Managing medication where applicable
Coping with mental illness, such as anxiety, depression, phobios, bipolar disorder and other conditions
Group therapy offers a number of distinct advantages that are attractive to both the patient and the therapist. These benefits, while important, do not necessarily mean that group therapy is superior to individual therapy. A tailored approach will determine which course of therapies are appropriate for the individual.
The advantages of group therapy include:
Individual and group therapy are not mutually exclusive treatments and should be part of any rehabilitation program. At Wish Recovery, we take a lot of factors into account when assigning treatments to individuals. Where individual therapy can set the stage for an in-depth exploration of the patient’s needs, group therapy offers strong opportunities for growth, mutual support, forming connections and education.
Our aim is to promote overall wellness through a powerful and effective blend of group therapy, individual therapy and supplemental treatments. To learn more about our advanced approach to recovery, speak to a member of our team today.
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