Individual Therapy vs. Group Therapy vs. Support Groups: Everything You Need to Know

There has been a 33% increase in the cases of major depression in the US since 2013, says an article on Blue Cross Blue Shield. However, the increase in mental health awareness and the useful part played by mental health service providers has successfully helped millions of people overcome their mental and emotional issues.

What is Individual Therapy?

Individual therapy is explained as a therapeutic process in which an individual seeks help from a therapist, who can be a psychotherapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, counselor or social worker. By communicating with a trained therapist people have found that they are better able to cope with mental, emotional or behavioral issues, such as anxiety, stress, insomnia, food eating disorders, addiction and anger issues. An experienced therapist can help you overcome emotional or relationship issues using a specific form of psychotherapy, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and effective meditation techniques, says an expert at the Institute for Personal Growth.

What are the Advantages of Individual Therapy?

One of the major reasons why people choose individual therapy is privacy. The confidentiality that therapists of all types are bound by gives people the confidence to disclose even the most intimidate moments and fears. These sessions can be arranged according to the individual’s convenience, keeping pace with the client’s need. It can be more intensive and helpful with people who have poor communication skills and social anxiety.

What is Support Group Therapy?

A Support Group consists of people who share the same problem and is mediated by a qualified therapist. While the group size can vary from one group to another, support groups have been found to be very effective with specific issues, such as substance abuse, sexual abuse, domestic violence, grief, etc. Group therapy was introduced by a physician named JH Pratt in 1906, while providing sessions to a group of patients suffering from Tuberculosis, says an article by the American Mental Health Foundation.

What are the advantages of Support Groups?

Sharing personal experiences in a group of people struggling with the same issue helps the individual not feel alone in their suffering. They also get the opportunity to both give and receive support and empathy. This helps develop greater self-awareness and understanding of one’s problems and what can help overcome the difficulty. Group therapy focuses primarily on relationships and allows the therapist to offer live demos of social issues.

Conclusion

While individual therapy is successful in helping people specific issues, such as depression and anxiety, these sessions are relatively more expensive than group therapy. Individual therapy also provides greater privacy, since there is no third person involved. The important thing to remember is that each type of therapy is suited for different problems, while there are some issues, such as addiction, that can benefit from a mix of the two.

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