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Comparing and contrasting group therapy with individual psychotherapy

The American Psychological Association offers this formal definition of psychotherapy: English psychiatrist Walter Cooper Dendy introduced the term psycho-threpeia in the 1850s to describe a type of talking treatment.

The person that is generally acknowledged as the founder of modern psychotherapy just referred to as therapy in this article is Sigmund Freud. Freud developed psychoanalysis around the beginning of the 20th century, and following his work, many other schools of therapy were formed. What Is Group Therapy? Group therapy is generally acknowledged as beginning when the physician J. Pratt began group sessions to instruct individuals in the care of tuberculosis.

Pratt found that the groups benefited the members emotionally due to supporting one another in shared experiences. Pratt eventually began referring to his sessions as group psychotherapy. Group psychotherapy began to increase in popularity following World War II when groups of combat veterans were treated together, and specific benefits from these group sessions were observed. What Is Individual Therapy? Individual therapy consists of a therapeutic situation where one individual termed the client for purposes of this article is involved in the therapeutic process with at least one therapist.

  1. Research investigating the components of effective therapy have consistently pointed out that the therapeutic alliance is a key component of a successful therapy intervention.
  2. The pace of the therapy can be tailored to the specific client.
  3. Group therapy offers the opportunity to both receive support from others and to give support to others. The client can arrange a time for the therapy sessions that is most conducive to their schedule.
  4. Group therapy assures individuals that they are not alone and that other individuals share similar problems and struggles.

A therapist can be anyone professionally trained in the use of therapy, including a psychologist, social worker, counselor, psychiatrist, marriage and family counselor, etc.

For the purposes of this article, we will define the therapist as someone who has received formal training in therapy and is licensed by the state they practice to do therapy.

Thus, therapy differs from getting advice from friends, family, acquaintances, etc. Learn More Individual therapy offers several advantages: The client receives one-on-one attention from the therapist, and this allows the therapist to be very thorough in understanding the specific problems of the client and in developing an individualized approach to helping the client. The level of analysis and treatment can be much more intense and comprehensive in individual therapy compared to group therapy.

The pace of the therapy can be tailored to the specific client.

  • The therapeutic alliance, which refers to the working relationship between the client and therapist, is strongest in individual therapy;
  • Several disadvantages to group therapy are;
  • Both of these notions are important in treatment;
  • An experienced and competent therapist is able to avoid such alliances that are detrimental to the overall group; however, it is inevitable that certain individuals in the group will identify more strongly with one another and not identify with other members;
  • Disadvantages Some of the advantages that occur in group therapy include:

It can be sped up in cases where clients can handle more focused and intense interventions, or it can be slowed down in cases where clients need time to adjust and move slowly. The therapeutic alliance, which refers to the working relationship between the client and therapist, is strongest in individual therapy. Research investigating the components of effective therapy have consistently pointed out that the therapeutic alliance is a key component of a successful therapy intervention.

Individual therapy allows for the development of self-awareness by discussing issues and getting feedback from the therapist.

  1. Group therapy assures individuals that they are not alone and that other individuals share similar problems and struggles.
  2. The level of analysis and treatment can be much more intense and comprehensive in individual therapy compared to group therapy.
  3. The person that is generally acknowledged as the founder of modern psychotherapy just referred to as therapy in this article is Sigmund Freud.
  4. Freud developed psychoanalysis around the beginning of the 20th century, and following his work, many other schools of therapy were formed. A couple of relative disadvantages of individual therapy include.
  5. The research supports the notion that individual therapy is generally effective for treating most nearly every different psychological disorder , condition, and problem that is generally addressed in a therapeutic environment. What Is Group Therapy?

The client can arrange a time for the therapy sessions that is most conducive to their schedule. Individual therapy allows for the development of communication skills in individuals who need help with these skills.

  • Both of these notions are important in treatment;
  • Group therapy offers the opportunity to both receive support from others and to give support to others;
  • The client is not the focus of attention;
  • The therapeutic alliance that occurs in groups is broader than the alliance that occurs in individual therapy;
  • Some individuals in groups do not actually make changes but simply ride on the success of others;
  • The client receives one-on-one attention from the therapist, and this allows the therapist to be very thorough in understanding the specific problems of the client and in developing an individualized approach to helping the client.

A couple of relative disadvantages of individual therapy include: Individual therapy is typically more expensive than group therapy. This need can be best addressed in a group situation. Clients in individual therapy need to be motivated and are obviously in the spotlight. The research supports the notion that individual therapy is generally effective for treating most nearly every different psychological disordercondition, and problem that is generally addressed in a therapeutic environment.

Group Therapy Group therapy is loosely defined as having more than one client treated at the same time comparing and contrasting group therapy with individual psychotherapy at least one therapist. Group sizes can vary depending on the type of group therapy being employed. For example, couples therapy, a type of group therapy that typically treats romantic partners, consists of two clients most oftenwhereas certain types of groups, such as substance abuse groups, may feature 10-12 clients in a session.

Researchers who study the effectiveness of group therapy generally recommend that the ideal maximum number of clients in a group is somewhere between 6 and 12; however, some groups have even larger numbers of clients in them. There are a number of advantages to being involved in group therapy. However, it is important to note that many of these advantages represent actual strengths of the group process as opposed to trying to make and evaluate a comparison that group therapy is better than individual therapy.

  • Irvin David Yalom , one of the acknowledged gurus of group therapy, terms this the principle of universality;
  • The level of analysis and treatment can be much more intense and comprehensive in individual therapy compared to group therapy;
  • However, it is important to note that many of these advantages represent actual strengths of the group process as opposed to trying to make and evaluate a comparison that group therapy is better than individual therapy;
  • Both of these notions are important in treatment.

Disadvantages Some of the advantages that occur in group therapy include: Group therapy assures individuals that they are not alone and that other individuals share similar problems and struggles. The famous psychiatrist Dr. Irvin David Yalomone of the acknowledged gurus of group therapy, terms this the principle of universality.

Family and individual therapy: comparisons and contrasts.

Group therapy offers the opportunity to both receive support from others and to give support to others. Both of these notions are important in treatment. Receiving support from others is part of the bonding or therapeutic alliance that occurs in groups, whereas giving support to others allows for growth and learning.

The therapeutic alliance that occurs in groups is broader than the alliance that occurs in individual therapy. This allows for the incorporation of many different points of view. Group therapy helps individuals develop communication skills and socialization skills, and allows clients to learn how to express their issues and accept criticism from others.

Group therapy allows individuals to develop self-awareness by listening to others with similar issues. Group therapy provides a broad safety net for individuals who may otherwise be hesitant to discuss their feelings, perceived weaknesses, etc. Individuals in group therapy can model the successful behaviors of other individuals who have gone through similar experiences. Modeling is a form of learning where individuals learn by copying or imitating the actions of others.

Comparing and contrasting group therapy with individual psychotherapy therapy is typically less expensive than individual therapy. Several disadvantages to group therapy are: The client is not the focus of attention. Thus, the level of intervention is not as focused and intense for any single person as individual therapy. The level of confidentiality in groups is far less secure than it is an individual therapy.

Although group members are generally instructed that the information and events that occur in the group are to be held confidential and only to be shared with group members during therapy, the potential for a breach of confidentiality is far greater in group therapy. The notion of social loafing is a problem with all group efforts. Some individuals in groups do not actually make changes but simply ride on the success of others.

Groups may allow unmotivated individuals to hide their issues and avoid accountability. Although the therapeutic alliance is broader, it is not as focused and strong in group therapy as it is in individual therapy. Groups typically meet at specific times.

Group therapy may be inappropriate comparing and contrasting group therapy with individual psychotherapy certain types of individuals, such as individuals who are extremely antisocial, extremely shy, impulsive, passive-aggressive, psychotic, etc.

Sometimes, certain alliances form in groups, and these subgroups target and denigrate other group members. An experienced and competent therapist is able to avoid such alliances that are detrimental to the overall group; however, it is inevitable that certain individuals in the group will identify more strongly with one another and not identify with other members. In general, the research finds that both group therapy and individual therapy are relatively equivalent in their effectiveness in addressing a large number of issues.

Thus, there is no real answer to the question of which is better. This is an individual choice that can be made by clients who are able to try both types of therapy and decide for themselves which is best for them. The best-case scenario is to try and get involved in both types of therapy at the same time. Unfortunately, this can be relatively expensive and time-consuming for some individuals. Nonetheless, both formats of therapy have advantages and disadvantages.

Last updated on December 5, 20162016-12-05T12: