Posted on October 9, 2014
Group therapy and individual counseling are both important and useful in their own ways. One satisfies the social aspects of healing while the other satisfies the introspective aspects of healing. People apply either of these two healing methods to a number of troubling life circumstances, including addiction, mental disorders, relationship disagreements and family problems. Both forms of sharing and receiving are highly beneficial to a person’s mental health, but both forms are not necessarily beneficial on every occasion. There are situations that call for private, intensive counseling and there are situations that call for a collective type of catharsis.
For example, a situation that group therapy would lend itself usefully to would be an addiction support group, or a cancer support group. Group therapy is usually organized over something widespread, under resourced and burgeoning into a socially acceptable topic. Freedom of identity is a value that grows within our society more and more over time, so the matters that support groups form over are expanding. However, they often still center around something that is somewhat taboo, or too uncomfortable for the average person to talk about. Alcoholics, drug abusers and sex addicts have a condition that many people do not want to talk about, so coming together to share experiences, struggles and encourage one another away from addiction is vitally important to them socially. Sadly, even those suffering from physical diseases such as cancer or AIDS struggle to find others who are strong enough to talk with them about their disease, so a support group is a useful, nurturing connection to make for someone in this circumstance.
On the other hand, individual counseling is essential to a number of different circumstances, such as in the case of a sensitive mental disorder or a singular traumatic event. Individual counseling better suits instances where the problem is sensitive or personal. Similarly, it may be a better option if the individual themselves is sensitive or uncomfortable sharing their private matter with a group of people. This is largely up to the individual, but traditionally, individual counseling is more successful at getting to the underlying root causes of psychological issues and aiding in cognitive behavioral progress.