How to choose between group or individual therapy

One of the questions we may have when going to the psychologist is “what kind of therapy do I need” or “what would work best for my problem”.

It is important to know which type of professional can best adapt when it comes to specific problems, as psychologists have different clinical guidelines, sometimes there are more appropriate and specific methodologies for which disorders and problems.

In this article, we’ll go over several key ideas to consider. how to choose between group or individual therapy, To make it easier to choose between the intervention methods.

Choosing between individual therapy or group therapy: how to decide?

Fortunately, there are more and more strategies and tools to achieve more effective treatment results, thanks to continued research in the field of clinical and health psychology.

When it comes to deciding which type of therapy to choose, individually or in groups, we must take into account the problem or disorder to be treated on the one hand, and the profile and characteristics of the patient, on the other hand.

For example, there are certain problems which are treated very effectively in group therapy, but if the person in question has certain symptoms, other additional problems or significant difficulties in working in group dynamics, it is necessary to evaluate a lot. the most practical then is individual therapy.

In individual therapy, the patient only interacts with the psychologist or therapist, While in the group there is the interaction between the patients of the group and also that of the psychologist with the group and each of them.

Features of group therapy

We cannot say that one modality is better than another, so both are proven to be effective and have their benefits. For example, in group therapy we find the following positive characteristics.

1. You can learn from other group members

Being more people allows you to share experiences, Review the results that worked for others, take into account points of view other than your own, share doubts and participate in the common search for solutions.

2. Create an environment in which you are not judged

When the problems are shared in a homogeneous group, that is, all members of the therapeutic group go through the same type of process, feeling that we are part of a common problem and that others also suffer and we include, produces relief. Don’t feel judged, it’s easier to feel understood.

3. Strengthen problem solving by connecting with us

Group therapy is most rewarding in working to learn and practice certain coping skills (for example, in workshops on social skills).

This is so because in these sessions tasks are performed that set in motion the improvement and solution of problems at the social level, So that later this practice in the group context can be transferred into the daily life of each patient once it has been understood which are the appropriate and most functional behaviors.

    4. Encourage commitment to improvement

    Benefit from the strength and cohesion of the group this is a very important aspect for working on disease awareness and changing decision making.

    Specifically, in drug addiction support groups it turned out to be necessary. For the treatment of addictions if group therapy is indicated, often in combination with individual therapy, as it contributes to good results. The group acts as a “brake” for the dependent patient, especially at the start of treatment.

    Also in groups where specific phobias, duels, etc. are treated, we can say that the group gives a “helping hand” when dealing with the problem.

    5. Less costs

    The economic part is also an advantageAs group therapy is generally cheaper than individual therapy.

    Features of individual therapy

    Individual therapy, however, allows the above aspects to be treated. in a context of greater intimacy than in some cases, group therapy does not allow.

    Although it must be said that it depends on the patient; there are those who are more reluctant to talk about themselves in groups, or those who, due to their own pathology, do not find it easy, and there are those who, on the other hand, have no problem to share and express their emotions and difficulties.

    Both options are equally valid, although for practicing and learning tools at a social level, group therapy is generally more recommended due to the similarity of the group context to each person’s social context.

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