As time goes on more and more people are getting into therapy to make themselves a better person. If this is something you’ve considered yourself you may be wondering which is better for you; group therapy or individual therapy?
Group therapy can be very rewarding, as it’s the first opportunity many patients have to be in a relationship.
In group therapy, you can share your experiences and see that you are not alone in whatever you may be struggling with in life. This is also a time where you can practice honesty and humility.
Similar to individual counseling, which we will cover shortly, it may take time to open up about your struggles, but once you do, the freedom is invaluable and can help you in a large number of ways.
With individual therapy, the focus is on yourself.
You don’t have to share time with anyone else, and the environment is completely safe and confidential. There are a number of things you can accomplish during your sessions such as identifying problems, acknowledging feelings, working through challenges and establishing goals.
Some people may need a lot of time to break through their personal barrier while others may open up right away. The quicker you let down your guard and work through your feelings, the faster you will succeed in individual therapy.
With this setting being highly personal, you may find it more rewarding in the beginning of your journey. You may not feel ready to open up in front of a group of strangers, especially if you are still learning about yourself.
Through your one-on-one interactions with a therapist, you will become more confident about your strengths and moving toward the person you want to become.
The answer to the question, “Which is better: group or individual therapy?” is actually relatively straightforward: “Neither.” Both have advantages and disadvantages that are suited for specific types of individuals and for specific problems.
In general, the research finds that both group therapy and individual therapy are relatively equivalent in their effectiveness in addressing a large number of issues. Thus, there is no real answer to the question of which is better.
This is an individual choice that can be made by you after trying both types of therapy and then decide which is best.
The best-case scenario is to try and get involved in both types of therapy at the same time.
Nonetheless, both formats of therapy have advantages and disadvantages. Deciding on which one to engage in is a personal choice that depends on your personal issues, goals, and the types of therapists/groups that are available.
If you chose to engage in group therapy there are several tips to help you to get the most out of your sessions.
Here is a list of great tips for getting the most out of group therapy:
If you decide individual therapy is the route you would rather take here are a few little tips to help you to get the most out of one on one therapy.
Just like your problems, a psychologist’s methods are unique too. They all follow the basic structure and are highly educated, but perhaps their personality doesn’t mesh with you or their counseling style puts you on edge.
It might take a little time, but finding the one for you will make all the difference.
While many of the issues that you need to talk about are sensitive, you need to open up. Psychologists have been specially trained to help you move through your issues and if you don’t express yourself, they can’t help you. Just like if you don’t tell your general practitioner your symptoms, they won’t be able to diagnose you.
Once you’ve spoken to your counselor and they have told you what you should do next it is highly advisable to pay attention to what they say.
If at any time you think that something won’t help, tell them. Maybe they misunderstood you or maybe you just don’t feel ready. You will have to step out of your comfort zone, but they don’t want to push you so far that it’s no longer beneficial. If you start feeling uncomfortable, communicate clearly with them and they will find an alternative for you.
Ultimately, like many things involving therapy, the choice of if and how you are treated is down to yourself.
A combination of group therapy and individual therapy is the best course of action to move past your issues but always make sure you follow the treatment plan your doctor and therapist gives you.