What is Individual Therapy?
Individual therapy is talk therapy that occurs one-on-one between a patient
and a therapist. Individuals in addiction treatment spend the majority
of their therapy time in individual therapy.
The primary goal of individual therapy for addiction treatment is to self-reflect
and discover the root cause of one’s desire to abuse substances.
Again, individual therapy is a time of deep self-reflection and self-discovery.
As long as addiction treatment patients are open and honest with themselves
and their therapists while in individual therapy, the therapists can guide
them through their life experiences, emotions, and inner psyche until
they discover their truth.
Therapy itself comes in various forms. In the past, rehab centers used
a cookie-cutter approach to therapy. A lot of time was spent on therapy
in a rather generic way. The relapse rates from basic therapy were unacceptable
with this approach.
In recent years, the addiction treatment community has innovated more ways
to deliver therapy. From holistic treatment methods to evidence-based
therapies, there are a lot of options today.
Through the various forms of individual therapy, individuals can develop
the coping and life skills that they need to avoid relapse and maintain
Although the majority of a person’s therapy time while in addiction
treatment is one-on-one with a therapist, there are forms of therapy that
allow people to meet up with a therapist in different groups. To learn
the differences between these other forms of therapy and individual therapy,
Individual Therapy vs. Group Therapy
During individual therapy, the therapy sessions are completely geared towards
the one person attending therapy at that moment. Thus, the only personal
information that gets talked about in individual therapy is that of the
particular patient in the session.
When attending therapy in a group setting though, therapy sessions are
geared towards general areas of discussion or disorders that multiple
people can relate to. For example, there may be a group therapy session
for adults that are in recovery from addiction.
One benefit to attending group therapy is the ability to learn from the
insights and experiences of others. Another beneficial aspect of group
therapy that differs from individual therapy is the ability to connect
with other people that have gone through similar experiences to you. Because
group therapy allows patients to connect with other people, it is a great
way to build one’s support group.
Because there are multiple people talking and giving their perspectives
in group therapy sessions though, individuals don’t get the time
and space to dive as deep into their own personal struggles and be as
introspective as they would get to be during individual therapy. This
is because individual therapy is geared to only one person’s needs
and thus provides the time and space to dive deep into one’s own
emotions and psyche.
When to Attend Group Therapy and When to Attend Individual Therapy
Because of the differences between individual therapy and group therapy,
patients that are looking to dive deep into their own emotions and psyche
should attend individual therapy. If a person is shy and not good at opening
up or talking in groups, he or she should probably attend individual therapy
as well. Those that are looking to build on their support network and
gain more perspectives about their condition should attend group therapy.
Individual Therapy vs. Family Therapy
Individual therapy is important in terms of self-improvement. Unfortunately,
it doesn’t do much to address issues that a person may have with
other people that affect their lives. For example, many people that suffer
from addiction strain the relationships that they have with their close
family members and friends. To help repair such relationships, these people
should attend family therapy.
The focus of family therapy is all on repairing the family unit. During
family therapy, a therapist will help individuals discover the role that
they play within their family. For example, in a family with a person
in it that suffers from addiction, someone often plays the role of the enabler.
By having every member of a family discuss their issues with one another
along with their perspectives about the issues that go on within the family,
the therapist will help each person discover his or her own role within
that toxic family dynamic. Once each family member in family therapy discovers
the toxic role that he or she plays in the family dynamic, all the family
members will work together with the therapist to change their toxic behavior patterns.
Family members also work together with a therapist during family therapy
to better understand one another. For example, when a family with a person
that suffers from addiction in it attends family therapy, the therapist
will make it a point to educate the family members of the recovering addict
about addiction. That way, the family members can better empathize with
the person in the family that is recovering from addiction. By better
understanding addiction, the family members of a recovering addict can
even act as a form of support.
Types of Individual Therapy
Even when just focusing on individual therapy, there are many forms that
individual therapy can take. Some of the major types of individual therapy
are described below.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of individual therapy in which the
therapist helps patients turn their negative thoughts, emotions, and behaviors
into positive thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. As it pertains to patients
that are recovering from addiction, CBT will help them understand how
their negative thoughts and emotions are driving their need to abuse drugs
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
Dialectical behavioral therapy is similar to cognitive-behavioral therapy
with one major difference. This form of therapy focuses on helping patients
accept their negative thoughts, feelings, and emotions rather than changing
them. DBT focuses on using coping mechanisms to help people manage their
negative thoughts, emotions, and behaviors when they come.
Not all forms of individual therapy during addiction treatment allow people
to use medications to cope with their conditions or focus on other standard
medical practices. Holistic therapy, for example, focuses on using alternative
practices to help people heal their minds, bodies, and souls. Alternative
forms of holistic therapy include things like massages, acupuncture, meditation,
art and music therapy, exercise, equine therapy, etc.
Attend Addiction Therapy At Grace Land Recovery Center
Here at Grace Land Recovery Center in Memphis, Tennessee, we provide specialized
and individualized addiction treatment and addiction therapy services.
So, you can take advantage of various forms of individual therapy at our
If you’re ready to tackle your addiction issues, we’re here
to support your efforts. To learn more about our treatment center and
the services that we provide,
contact us today. Our staff is more than willing to answer any questions that you may have.