Rehab & Recovery

Is Group or Individual Therapy Better for Addiction Recovery?

Much like individual races in swimming or cross country, addiction recovery therapy works in a similar manner. There’s a difference between what is achieved in group therapy versus individual therapy, but each has its own set of merits. If you’re in a group, you rely on one another for a successful end result. On the other hand, if you’re working alone, you must hold yourself accountable for reaching your goals. When it comes to addiction recovery, you may be weighing the pros and cons of individual or group therapy to figure out which one is best for you. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know to help you make your decision. 

Individual Therapy

When you attend one on one therapy, you spend time talking with a therapist or counselor without anyone else in the room. This allows you to discuss your own personal experience with addiction and makes it easier to share personal information that you wouldn’t want to say in a group. 

There are many benefits to individual therapy for addiction recovery. It’s a great starting point as you can share personal pieces of information without having to do so in front of a group. It’s easier to open up and have conversations that get you on the road to recovery. It’s also a good place to practice sharing thoughts and emotions that go with recovery. 

Another perk to attending individual therapy is the chance to address the specific issues and obstacles that you’re facing with your recovery. This gives you the chance to focus on the things that you can do to reach your goals and won’t have to share the time and attention with other participants. 

Individual therapy is also a more personal approach than group therapy. Your therapist can give you immediate and applicable feedback and offers you the chance to be sure your therapist fully understands your situation. You can work together to create a customized approach to recovery and a trusting relationship that is beneficial to you.

Group Therapy

Group therapy involves two or more people working with a therapist at the same time. Participants generally do not know each other beforehand and the subjects that are addressed are more general to addiction recovery and include things like managing symptoms and effective coping mechanisms. 

One of the biggest benefits to attending group therapy is that you have access to a built in support network. Addiction recovery isn’t an easy process so having people who you can commiserate with can be extremely helpful. You are all facing similar issues so you can spend time discussing them and helping each other cope. 

Another reason to choose group therapy is the opportunity to make social connections. Addiction and recovery can often feel lonely and isolating and you may have had to end relationships that were enabling your addiction. Forming new relationships isn’t always easy, but group therapy allows you to create bonds with people you have something in common with and gives you like minded people to connect with after therapy ends. 

Finally, attending group therapy is an easy way to relearn social skills, such as empathy and healthy expression of your emotions. You can practice listening to others and identifying with their experiences. You can also share your own feelings without worry about being judged or shamed. 

How to Choose Between the Two

Now that you know a little bit more about both group and individual therapy, it’s time to decide which one is right for you. While one isn’t necessarily better than the other, there may be a method that you are more comfortable with or that you feel might help you reach your goals more effectively. 

You can work with your addiction recovery program to determine which choice makes the most sense. You may find that a combination of group and individual therapy works well for you. Or you might try one or the other and realize it’s not for you. Trying out both options gives you the chance to decide what you like about each so that you can choose the method or combination of methods that help you reach your recovery objectives and get back to living a healthy life. 

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