Learning About Attaining Stress Relief Through Counseling

Is Individual Psychotherapy Right For You?

In the world of psychotherapy services, there are two dominant approaches. These are group psychotherapy and individual psychotherapy. Although there are numerous distinct types of the two, it is possible to discuss why an individualized program might or might not be right for a client. Take a look at some of the pros and cons of working one-on-one with a therapist.

Pro: Focus

A major plus of individual psychotherapy is that it allows a provider and a client to focus on a handful of topics. Group sessions can often get derailed. Even in fairly focused group therapy work, individuals can struggle to figure out how a lot of what's being talked about applies to them.

Con: Less Comparing and Contrasting

Talking about issues in a larger social setting has the advantage that people can compare and contrast their experiences. It's important in individual sessions for a therapist to work with the client to understand their actions and feelings in contexts. Notably, when therapists have concerns that their clients are struggling to make these connections, they may have their clients engage in a mixture of individual and group sessions.

Pro: Confidentiality

It's hard to feel anything is confidential once more than a few people have heard about it. Working in individual sessions can boost a sense of privacy, and that can help folks open up about topics that may be challenging to discuss. It also can provide a great sense of intimacy in the conversation, allowing the client to talk about very personal concerns.

Con: Inducing Biases

As hard as every therapist will try to keep the conversation clear of biases, the reality is that both therapists and clients will tend to bring their biases into sessions. If it seems like progress has ground to a halt, this may be a contributing factor. Once perceptions start to harden between the two people, it can be difficult for them to confront biases and break out of them. Therapists and clients need to be extra vigilant to ensure that open-mindedness is maintained to stay productive.

Pro: Pacing

Everybody goes through therapy at their own pace. Individual psychotherapy has the virtue that it allows participants to pump the brakes when things get going too fast or key ideas need to be re-explained or reexamined. Especially for folks who have multiple comorbid issues, such as drug addiction alongside trauma and depression, a controlled pace can allow the necessary time to dig into each problem.