2 MIN READ | Psychotherapy

Dennis Relojo-Howell

The Pros and Cons of Individual and Group Therapies in Substance Rehab

Cite This
Dennis Relojo-Howell, (2022, May 3). The Pros and Cons of Individual and Group Therapies in Substance Rehab. Psychreg on Psychotherapy. https://www.psychreg.org/pros-cons-individual-group-therapies-substance-rehab/
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Substance abuse is an unfortunate struggle that many people find themselves in. There are over a million Americans in substance abuse treatment facilities, but also plenty of others who never get the help they need from professionals.

The road to getting better can be difficult, and according to Behavioral Health Centers, recovery and rehabilitation is a progressive process that includes a lot of different steps and components, and a big one is therapy. 

However, when it comes to therapy, there are a few different types. We are predominantly talking about individual and group therapies. While both can be helpful in your recovery from substance abuse, it is a good idea to know which is right for you.

With that in mind, this guide is going to go through both the pros and the cons of individual and group therapies in substance rehab.

Pros of individual therapy

A major benefit of individual therapy is that you get more privacy and confidentiality, and don’t need to worry about others learning or knowing about your issue. Also, you get one-on-one attention and the session is generally customized for you to solely focus on your needs. These sessions can also be quite quick, and are generally flexible and can work around your needs. It is often a more in-depth therapy session, and can help you form a special bond with your therapist.

Cons of individual therapy

Of course, there are also some potential drawbacks when it comes to individual therapy. One major problem is that these therapy sessions are often much more expensive than group sessions, and some therapists can be quite busy and may be unable to see you. Also, individual therapy doesn’t give you the ability to connect and interact with others who share similar problems. Individual therapy also requires a lot of self-awareness and a real willingness to change, as the sessions are all about you, no one else.

Pros of group therapy

Another option for those in recovery is group therapy. There are many benefits of group therapy and it is an option that many people prefer. Perhaps the biggest advantage of this type of therapy is that you truly see that you are not alone. You can meet and hear the stories of individuals who are just like you, and this can be a great help in your recovery. The group sessions can help you improve communication, and show you that you indeed have support and a safety net. These sessions can also be less intimidating to some, and generally come with a more affordable cost. 

Cons of group therapy

But just like with individual therapy, there are some potential cons to be aware of too. Things are all out in the open and you get less confidentiality, which some people struggle with. You don’t get the same one-on-one attention, and the session will be relatively general, to ensure it can help everyone with their issues, and not just focus on one person.

Also, there is the problem that your situation may not be properly addressed in group therapy. It is easy to simply coast and some unmotivated people may use the group setting to hide the fact that they themselves are not making a lot of progress. There will also be specific meetings at specific times, so you need to be more flexible.

Both can be great ways to improve your situation and get on the road to recovery, and the option you choose will depend on your unique preferences, budget, and level of comfort.


Dennis Relojo-Howell is the managing director of Psychreg.

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