Not having enough recovery options is still a serious issue in the U.S. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), “In 2021, among the 57.8 million adults with AMI [any mental illness], 26.5 million (47.2%) received mental health services in the past year.” These numbers are even lower for adolescents. In other words, less than half the people who need proper mental health care actually get it. Thus, when it comes to treating mental health, the U.S. still has a lot of work to do. Part of that work is increasing the amount of both individual and group therapy that is available to everyone who needs it.
Treating Mental Health in Multiple Ways
A big aspect of successful recovery is ensuring that it is well-rounded. The best way to ensure that happens is to utilize multiple treatment options.
One recovery plan rarely works for multiple individuals. Everyone comes to recovery with a different backstory, a separate set of circumstances, and distinct goals that they want to accomplish. Such individuality requires individual treatment plans, and these plans can only become individualized if there are multiple modalities available.
These treatment options can range from traditional to experiential to holistic. Generally, a combination of all three is ideal. However, it is important to start a recovery plan with a foundation of evidence-based treatments. Many forms of individual therapy meet that “evidence-based” requirement.
Treating Mental Health: Understanding Individual Therapy
Ultimately, on the surface, individual therapy can be as simple as it sounds. It is a client and a mental health professional working through issues and coming up with solutions. Of course, however, individual therapy is much more complex than that.
There are many types of individual therapy. Some examples include psychotherapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). These therapies can be ideal for bringing deeper emotional issues up to the surface so they can then be addressed.
Another type of individual therapy is psychotherapy in the realm of neuroscience. One of these therapies is eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR). This therapy utilizes the eyes’ natural register and responses to certain stimuli and, in turn, the responses are utilized to adjust the negative behaviors associated with them. Also, just like other types of therapy, there are both benefits and limitations to individual therapy.
The Benefits of Individual Therapy
The following are just a few of the benefits that can be gained from utilizing individual therapy:
- Creates a safe space, especially for individuals that tend to have trouble communicating in groups
- Allows for the sole focus to be on the individual and their issues
- Is often more available, as it isn’t reliant on other people being present
- Offers a chance for deeper reflection and individual connection
The Limitations of Individual Therapy
Now, just as with other treatment modalities, individual therapy also has some limitations. These limitations are as follows:
- Can feel intimidating without peer support
- Tends to be more expensive than group therapies
- There is a lack of “shared experience” to relate to
- Potential for less motivation due to a lack of accountability
Treating Mental Health: Understanding Group Therapy
Now, group therapy can also sound relatively straightforward but it is also more complex than its name lets on. There are many types of group therapy, some of which include family therapy, group experiential therapy (nature therapy for example), group addiction therapy, and disorder-specific group therapy, such as therapy for individuals who struggle with anxiety disorders.
Just like individual therapy, group therapy has benefits and limitations.
The Benefits of Group Therapy
These are just a few of the benefits of group therapy:
- Offers peer support
- Is generally less expensive than other types of individual therapy
- Gives hope by seeing the success of others
- Allows the opportunity to help others
The Limitations of Group Therapy
Now, here are just some of the limitations of group therapy:
- Can be too intimidating for some individuals to share
- It may lead to people being less open due to fear of judgment
- Does not have as much individual focus
- There is the potential for conflict and confrontation between group members
Treating Mental Health Comprehensively at the Phoenix Recovery Center
Here at The Phoenix Recovery Center, we understand the importance of using as many treatments as possible to ensure the most whole mind-body recovery. That is why we encourage our clients to engage in both individual and group therapies, as well as the other treatment options that we offer.
Seeking recovery is often the most intimidating action someone will ever take. However, it can also be the most rewarding. We are here to help take away some of that intimidation and greatly increase the chances for that reward of long-term recovery.