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Group or Individual Therapy: Which is Best?

Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, can occur in different forms. Group therapy and individual therapy are the two main types that can help an individual learn the positive coping skills that are necessary to live a healthy life. 

But which one is best? The answer to this question can be answered through a number of different factors. Each person’s specific needs generally take precedence, and which option is best will depend on the individual and what they aim to achieve. 

Individual Therapy Overview

Individual therapy is a form of talk therapy that takes place during a one-on-one session. A therapist can be a social worker, counselor, psychiatrist, or psychologist.

During sessions, the therapist helps the individual to work through emotions and feelings that may be distressing. It helps the person to learn positive and healthy coping skills to get through situations that could potentially lead to further complications. 

Exploring Therapy Types

There are different types of techniques used during individual therapy sessions that help the person learn these skills. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of therapy that helps individuals to identify and change poor thinking that results in negative behaviors such as drug and alcohol abuse. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a form of one one-on-one therapy that helps those who feel intense emotions to get through their feelings without self-sabotage. It helps teach them how to regulate their emotions. 

Often, individuals who struggle with substance use disorders have experienced some form of trauma in their lives. Whether it be physical or emotional abuse, or the sudden loss of a loved one, trauma can lead to severe impacts to someone’s life. Trauma therapy is a beneficial form of therapy for individuals who have experienced these situations. 

Group Therapy Overview

Group therapy can be beneficial to individuals who feel like they are alone. They provide a space to become educated on healthier ways of handling situational stress. Rather than turning to drugs and alcohol, the experience of peers in a group setting can help the individual to avoid these substances as they arise.

CBT and DBT are techniques that are often used during group sessions. These techniques help to provide group insights into how distressing situations can be handled, healthily, without further impacts to the individual’s lifestyle. 

Family therapy is a beneficial form of group therapy. This helps in situations where the family unit has been compromised. Often, when a loved one struggles with substance abuse and addiction, their actions can take a toll on the structure of the family. These individuals may feel like they’ve caused irreparable damage. However, a group family session can aid in preventing further damage, and help to heal the damage that has occurred.

Individual Therapy Costs

Individual therapy costs can vary greatly. Factors like location, credentials, and therapeutic approach can play a role in the cost of this much-needed help. The cost of individual sessions with a professional therapist can range from $75 to $200 or, sometimes, more. Sometimes, insurance can offset the costs associated with professional therapy. Other times, when insurance isn’t available, there are sliding scales that help offset some of the out-of-pocket costs. 

Group Therapy Costs

Similarly to individual sessions, group therapy costs can vary widely. Location, approach, qualifications, and the focus of the group sessions can play a role in the costs. Generally speaking, though, these sessions can cost between $30-$100 per session, sometimes more.

Again, insurance can help offset these costs, and sliding scales can also help to offset the out-of-pocket costs. These sessions are less personal, with more people, contributing to the lower cost.

Pros and Cons of Individual Therapy

Because individual therapy occurs on a one-on-one basis, the benefits can include the ability to explore deeply personal issues, with a professional, who can help guide an individual through the emotions that can arise. Focused attention provides the ability to create quicker progress.

However, the downside to this personalized attention is the cost. The success of this form of therapy depends on the dynamics and connection between the individual and their therapist. Having someone that can be connected with helps to make the individual feel comfortable enough to get into their deeper feelings and emotions.

Pros and Cons of Group Therapy

Group therapy can offer a form of connection with people who are experiencing similar struggles. It can provide a safe and neutral space to get guidance from others who have undergone a similar circumstance.

However, because it is a group setting, it can be more uncomfortable to share the situation. Those who struggle with drugs and alcohol place themselves in compromising situations that may be difficult to discuss in these settings. 

Find Therapy Today

Therapy is a vital component of the healing process. Individuals who struggle with substance abuse or mental health conditions often need to invest time in themselves and participate in a therapy program.

Individual or group therapy depends on the individual and their needs. If you or a loved one are struggling and need extra help, Lexington Addiction Center is available. We offer help to those individuals who find themselves struggling so that they can begin on a path to recovery.

Call us today and begin your journey to a better life.