Group Therapy vs Individual Therapy

Group Therapy vs Individual Therapy

Authored by Pin Ng PhD

Reviewed by Michael Por, MD

Group Therapy vs Individual Therapy

When attending psychotherapy sessions, clients may have the option of taking part in group therapy or individual therapy. Clients in a Single Client Rehab Clinic  will by the very nature of the private setting only have 1:1 therapy unless specifically requested. Both give you the chance to obtained treatment and participate in psychotherapy sessions that benefit you.1 When attending rehab, you may experience both group therapy and individual therapy sessions, allowing you to explore the differences of both therapy types. You may wonder what is the difference between the two and how effective are they. Knowing the difference between the forms will give you a better understanding before attending rehab.

What is Individual therapy?

An individual therapy session is one in which a client and therapist meet in a one to one environment. It is a therapeutic process that allows the two parties to bond, build a relationship, and speak about the issues the client possesses. The trained therapist will attempt to help the client in their attempts to end substance abuse. Individual therapy sessions may also focus on other areas including eating disorders, anxiety, depression, sex addiction, and more.

Advantages of Individual Therapy

Individual therapy offers clients advantages over group therapy including:

  • Confidentiality and privacy2
  • Clients get one to one attention and can potentially recover from their disorders more quickly
  • Sessions can be far more intense
  • Sessions and the pace of therapy can be made to fit the client
  • A strong bond can be created between the client and therapist
  • Self-awareness can be developed as the therapist offers feedback to the client
  • Individual therapy sessions can be fit into a client’s schedule
  • Sessions can be arranged quickly
  • If a client needs an immediate or emergency session, they can receive it
  • Communication skills can be developed through speaking and listening to a therapist


What is Group Therapy?

Group therapy is when more than one client comes together to seek support and/or help from a therapist or counselor.3 Clients can benefit greatly from the support they receive in a group setting. Members can have shared experiences which improve each client’s emotional well-being and motivation for healing.

Advantages of Group Therapy

Group therapy offers clients advantages over individual therapy including:

  • Clients realize others are suffering with the same problems, addictions, and disorders
  • Clients can receive and give support from others which creates friendships and bonds
  • Communication skills and socialization skills can be improved as members must give and deal with different viewpoints from the group
  • Members develop self-awareness as they listen to other people’s problems4
  • Sharing one’s experiences with others with similar problems is often therapeutic
  • Members can feel safe to share stories and emotions
  • Motivation can be created as individuals seek to emulate other group members’ successes
  • It is often less expensive than individual therapy


Group Therapy vs Individual Therapy, which is best?

You may ask yourself, ‘which type of therapy should I choose?’ The answer isn’t necessarily straightforward. While both have advantages which were outlined above, there are disadvantages to each therapy type too.

Studies have found that both individual therapy and group therapy are nearly equal in terms of effectiveness.5 The type of therapy you choose actually depends more on what you want to get out of it and the type of person you are and your preferences for Rehab. Often UHNW and HNW Individuals will tend to opt for treatment experiences on the private end of the spectrum. However, this is not always the case and execs from Wall Street6, Hollywood7 and Silicon Valley8 find successful lasting recovery in group environments.

Individual Rehab could be viewed as a necessity rather than a Luxury. The old 28 days model is being replaced by a general acceptance that for lasting recovery a treatment episode may well last a number of months. Doing this on an individual basis has been said to feel like solitary confinement, no matter how ‘luxurious’ the stay and a group environment will always help the isolation of single client treatment.

Many of the Worlds Best Rehabs take a hybrid approach combining intense individual psychotherapy with process groups and collective meetings and clinics such as Paracelsus Recovery that claim to specialize in single client rehab have not managed to keep pace with the broader recovery movement to reintegrate group work into therapeutic episodes.


References: Group Therapy vs Individual Therapy

  1. Wykes T, Haro JM, Belli SR, Obradors-Tarragó C, Arango C, Ayuso-Mateos JL, Bitter I, Brunn M, Chevreul K, Demotes-Mainard J, Elfeddali I, Evans-Lacko S, Fiorillo A, Forsman AK, Hazo J, Kuepper R, Knappe S, Leboyer M, Lewis SW, Linszen D, Luciano M, Maj M, McDaid D, Miret M, Papp S, Park A, Schumann G, Thornicroft G, van der Feltz-Cornelis C, van Os J, Wahlbeck K, Walker-Tilley T, Wittchen H, ROAMER consortium Mental health research priorities for Europe. Lancet Psychiatry. 2015 Nov;2(11):1036–42. doi: 10.1016/S2215-0366(15)00332-6. [PubMed] []
  2. Josephine K, Josefine L, Philipp D, David E, Harald B. Internet- and mobile-based depression interventions for people with diagnosed depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Affect Disord. 2017 Dec 01;223:28–40. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2017.07.021. [PubMed] []
  3. Johansson R, Andersson G. Internet-based psychological treatments for depression. Expert Rev Neurother. 2012 Jul;12(7):861–9. doi: 10.1586/ern.12.63. [PubMed] []
  4. Hayes SC. Acceptance and commitment therapy, relational frame theory, and the third wave of behavioral and cognitive therapies – republished article. Behav Ther. 2016 Nov;47(6):869–85. doi: 10.1016/j.beth.2016.11.006. [PubMed] []
  5. Zettle R. ACT for Depression: A Clinician’s Guide to Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in Treating Depression. Oakland,CA: New Harbinger Publications; 2007. pp. 1–2. []
  6. Hoyer J, Gloster AT. [Measuring psychological flexibility: the questionnaire on acceptance and action II] Verhaltenstherapie. 2013 Feb 22;23(1):42–44. doi: 10.1159/000347040. [CrossRef] []
  7. Berle D, Starcevic V, Moses K, Hannan A, Milicevic D, Sammut P. Preliminary validation of an ultra-brief version of the Penn State Worry Questionnaire. Clin Psychol Psychother. 2011;18(4):339–46. doi: 10.1002/cpp.724. [PubMed] []
  8. Attkisson CC, Zwick R. The client satisfaction questionnaire. Psychometric properties and correlations with service utilization and psychotherapy outcome. Eval Program Plann. 1982;5(3):233–7. [PubMed] []
  9. Burlingame GM, Seebeck JD, Janis RA, Whitcomb KE, Barkowski S, Rosendahl J, Strauss B. Outcome differences between individual and group formats when identical and nonidentical treatments, patients, and doses are compared: A 25-year meta-analytic perspective. Psychotherapy (Chic) 2016 Dec;53(4):446–61. doi: 10.1037/pst0000090. [PubMed] []
  10. Suler J. The online disinhibition effect. Cyberpsychol Behav. 2004 Jun;7(3):321–6. doi: 10.1089/1094931041291295. [PubMed] []
  11. Lindner P, Nyström MB, Hassmén P, Andersson G, Carlbring P. Who seeks ICBT for depression and how do they get there? Effects of recruitment source on patient demographics and clinical characteristics. Internet Interv. 2015 May;2(2):221–5. doi: 10.1016/j.invent.2015.04.002. []
  12. Greene CJ, Morland LA, Macdonald A, Frueh BC, Grubbs KM, Rosen CS. How does tele-mental health affect group therapy process? Secondary analysis of a noninferiority trial. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2010 Oct;78(5):746–50. doi: 10.1037/a0020158. [PubMed] []

Alexander Bentley is the Chairman & CEO of Remedy Wellbeing™ as well as the creator & pioneer behind Tripnotherapy™, embracing ‘NextGen’ psychedelic bio-pharmaceuticals to treat burnout, addiction, depression, anxiety and psychological unease.

Under his leadership as CEO, Remedy Wellbeing™ received the accolade of Overall Winner: Worlds Best Rehab 2022 by Worlds Best Rehab Magazine. Because of his incredible work, the clinic is the world’s first $1 million-plus exclusive rehab center providing an escape for individuals and families requiring absolute discretion such as Celebrities, Sportspeople, Executives, Royalty, Entrepreneurs and those subject to intense media scrutiny.

Group Therapy vs Individual Therapy
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Group Therapy vs Individual Therapy
When attending rehab, you may experience both group therapy and individual therapy sessions, allowing you to explore the differences of both therapy types. You may wonder what is the difference between the two and how effective are they.
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Worlds Best Rehab
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