Types of Therapy: Individual vs. Group Therapy

Talk therapy is an effective tool that helps with a variety of mental illnesses. It helps people learn to express their emotions and understand why they are feeling that way. Psychiatrists help people discover the reasons behind their actions and thought as well as help them learn tools for coping and overcoming them.

For talk therapy, there are two options psychiatrists might recommend, individual or group therapy. Both are useful and provide different advantages to a patient. Often, psychiatrists recommend a combination of the two.

Individual Therapy

During an individual therapy, session issues are discussed one-on-one between a patient and a therapist or psychiatrist. Individual therapy is effective at assisting a patient in identifying problems, exploring feelings, setting goals, and working through challenges. The patient and therapist work on building personal strength through interaction.

The one-on-one nature of individual therapy promotes more open discussion. People are less likely to lie, hide, or be withdrawn if it is just them and their therapist. Honesty and openness in therapy are vital for a psychiatrist to accurately assess them and suggest tools. A patient will also receive more attention and time when it is just them in the session. Issues can be explored deeper and more can be discussed, as all the attention is on one individual and not multiple.

Mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, ADHD or difficulty with managing stress can all benefit from individual therapy. People with these mental issues can feel alone, lost, unseen, or isolated. The focused attention that comes with individual therapy works better at targeting their issues and problems. It allows the patient and psychiatrist to build a trusting relationship and works on promoting self-esteem and self-realization within the individual.

Group Therapy

Group therapy is a collaborative approach that involves one or more therapist that facilitates discussion between multiple individuals at the same time. The goals of group therapy are similar to that of individual therapy. It is about helping people explore their feelings, thoughts, and problems. Group therapy can consist of people going through the same thing or be more mixed having individuals with different issues and backgrounds. In most instances, the people in group therapy are strangers although if continued sessions happen with the same people relationships can form between them.

The benefit of group therapy is that people with mental issues get to see that they are not alone. It gives them an opportunity share and relate to similar experiences and feelings with others. A psychiatrist may ask people to share their stories or pose a question or situation and ask people to engage with it. It is easier for people to see correlations between certain behaviors when they are related to others rather than themselves and as time goes on people begin to see they are similar.

Certain mental health problems really benefit from group therapy sessions. It is extremely therapeutic in the treatment of eating disorders and substance dependency as well as people that have gone through traumatic events like death, sexual assault and suffer from PSTD. Focusing on themes and insights, and experiencing shared support helps with these issues.

Which Is Better?

Both group and individual therapy have advantages. They help with different aspects of mental issues. Certain mental health problems benefit more from individual or group therapy than others. A psychiatrist might recommend a combination of both to help with the different problems that someone might experience. Some people might not feel comfortable opening up to strangers while other find one-on-one attention intimidating.

Trying out both forms of therapy, or using a combination of them, can help someone determine which works best and which they feel most comfortable with. Talk to a mental health profession to discuss options and recommendations regarding therapy. Contact us today to talk about signing up for one of our individual or group therapy sessions.

Dr. Raul J. Rodriguez

Dr. Raul Rodriguez


Existing patients, please text 561-409-7296 for follow-up appointment requests or if you have medication concerns please text 561-409-7296.