Menu Close

Addiction Recovery Blog

Making the Switch from Group Therapy to Individual Therapy

A woman in recovery participating in individual therapy.

It started with you feeling nervous and intimidated. When you first found out you would have to participate in group therapy in addiction treatment, you weren’t sure what to expect. Something about sharing your story of substance abuse with a group of strangers didn’t feel right.

But then you completed your first session, and you realized the other people in therapy are just like you – struggling with substance abuse and trying to overcome it. These are the types of people you can really connect with and gain support from as you work towards recovery.

But then comes individual therapy that’s just with you and a single therapist. Will you connect with this professional like you did with people in group therapy? Will this individual understand what you’re going through?

Making the switch from group to individual therapy is a normal part of addiction treatment and recovery, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy or comfortable. In this post, we’ll dive into both types of therapy and give you reassuring tips to help you make the most of both experiences.

Which Type of Therapy is Better?

People often ask which type of therapy is better, group or individual. But the answer to the question isn’t that simple. The truth is one isn’t better than the other. Both therapies work together, and each have their strengths and purpose for your recovery.

How Group Therapy for Addiction Recovery Prepares You for Individual Therapy

Group therapy can actually help prepare you for individual therapy. This is because group therapy for addiction recovery offers you:

  • A safe environment where you can learn how to express your feeling and issues. This gets you used to being in a therapy setting that you’ll experience in individual therapy.
  • A chance to listen to different perspectives about the same thoughts, emotions and issues you’re facing during recovery. This will give you additional insights to share in your individual therapy sessions.
  • The realization that you’re not alone when it comes to addiction recovery. This will help you see your therapist as an ally instead of a professional who doesn’t get what you’ve been through.
  • A safety net where you can work through sharing your experiences at your own pace. This can help you feel more relaxed during individual therapy sessions, instead of feeling like you’re being pressured to make progress with your therapist faster.

Going from group therapy to individual therapy can be easier than you think, especially if you apply what you learned in group therapy to your individual therapy sessions.

What to Expect in Individual Therapy for Addiction Recovery

Both types of therapy are designed to help you recover from addiction and develop the skills needed to prevent relapse. However, individual therapy is different from group therapy in a few key ways:

1. You’ll Get One-on-One Attention

In group therapy, everyone receives a turn sharing their feelings and experiences. In individual therapy, the spotlight is on you. Your therapist is going to be able to get a deeper understanding of the specific issues you’re going through.

This personalized attention can really make your therapy sessions more meaningful and help you progress. And it’s all thanks to the skills you learned and practiced in group therapy.

2. The Pace of Therapy Varies

When you’re in group therapy for addiction, you get used to the flow and pace of it. Group therapy often follows a set schedule and the pace tends to stay constant. This isn’t the case with individual therapy.

In individual therapy, the pace of your treatment depends on your progress. If you’re doing well, your therapist has the flexibility to move the process forward. While this might sound a little intimidating at first, it’s actually a great opportunity for your recovery. After all, no two addiction are the same, and the more your therapy can be customized to your needs, the better.

4. The Focus is You Opening Up

In group therapy, there are natural breaks for your participation, and you listen to others in recovery tell their story. In individual therapy, you are the main topic of discussion. You’ll spend a significant portion of the therapy session talking and focusing on your individual recovery needs.

Therapy is like first learning how to ride a bike. Group therapy is the training wheels. It helps you build a solid foundation of skills while leaning on the support of others. Individual therapy is riding the bike on your own, with a guiding hand holding onto the seat. And with enough practice in both types of therapy, you’ll be able to continue your recovery journey on your own after leaving rehab.

Find Balance and Hope that Feels Achievable at Footprints Beachside Recovery

If you’re struggling with addiction, you might feel isolated and alone without a clear idea of how to move forward. At Footprints Beachside Recovery, we can help you break down the wall you built around yourself. We’ve been through addiction ourselves and know how challenging the path to recovery can be. But you don’t have to go through it alone.

Due to coronavirus, many of us are feeling more disconnected and lonelier than ever before. At Footprints Beachside Recovery, our commitment to helping reach lasting recovery is strong. That’s why we’re offering virtual IOP treatment to keep your journey moving forward during this unprecedented time. You’ll participate in group and individual therapy to develop healthy coping skills.

If you’re interested in all possibilities that come with a sober life, our virtual IOP treatment can help you get there. Contact our expert staff today to learn more.

Have Questions? We're here to help.

(727) 954-3908