Individual Counseling vs. Group Therapy

In the mental health world, there is a stigma towards individuals with mental health issues and therefore it makes it difficult for one to seek help. If you are here thinking of beginning therapy, I acknowledge that it is a hard step to take, but you have taken a critical step towards it. If you are debating whether to seek therapy or if you are just wondering more about the topic, stay with me to learn more.


What is individual counseling?

The mental health field is known for Individual Counseling which is a type of psychotherapy that a Licensed Professional Counselor or Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor helps an one work through their presenting issues. Individual Counseling is known to be an effective treatment for those with a mental illness or who are going through emotional distress. Are you currently wondering if therapy is good for you or are you hesitating to initiate therapy? Ask yourself if you are currently experiencing the following: lack of boundaries/limits, anxiety, low self-esteem, substance use, stress, issues at work, loss of motivation, isolation, issues within the family dynamics, relationship issues, and more. If you are currently experiencing any of the above-presenting issues, then, you might be a good fit for individual therapy.

What should I expect from an individual therapy session?

An individual session provides a safe, non-judgmental space to talk through their issues with a professional counselor. Psychotherapy does not make your problems go away, however it can provide you with the skills needed to cope with your issues more appropriately. Individual therapy can be either long-term or short-term depending if you are focusing on immediate or complex issues. You might be wondering; how often do you have to attend therapy? The answer is it depends on the individual’s situation and based on the counselor's recommendations.

How would individual therapy benefit me?

It does not matter what presenting issue you are working through in individual therapy, it can provide you with many benefits including: Identifying and handling your emotions, identifying the causes of your presenting symptoms, managing your symptoms, having coping techniques, being able to understand your behaviors, and adding more individuals to your support network.

Now are you wondering or hesitating between Individual and Group Therapy?

Group 2


What is group therapy?

Part of the mental health field is group therapy which is another type of psychotherapy. Group therapy involves one or two counselors running a group of several clients at the same time whereas individual therapy involves only one client and one counselor. You might be wondering where group therapy is offered. Group therapy is offered in a variety of settings including, but not limited to private practice, mental health hospitals, community centers, and more. There are many types of groups including support groups, skill development groups, psychoeducational groups, cognitive behavioral groups, and more. If you are thinking of beginning group therapy you need to be willing to share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences, and consider that group therapy is not meant for crisis. If you are undergoing crisis or suicidal ideation, individual therapy is for you.


What should I expect in group therapy?

Group therapy can be offered once or twice a week, for an hour or two depending on the group. Groups can be either closed or open. You must be wondering what that means, it means that open groups are groups that let new participants join the group at any given time, and closed groups are closed sessions for certain participants only. What should you expect when you first walk into a group? You will see chairs arranged in a circle so every participant can see each other during group. During group, there can be activities scheduled for participants to interact and get to know each other such as icebreakers, sharing activities, and more. Depending on the number of participants there can be one or two facilitators that run the group and ensure that the group is running smoothly, and rules are being followed.

How would group therapy benefit me?

Group therapy can offer its participants several benefits including encouragement, support, role modeling, and insight into social skills. Encouragement and support will provide you with the benefit that it will allow you to receive support from other group participants who are undergoing the same problem. Group therapy can provide role modeling which means that other group participants can demonstrate to other participants that coping skills can be successfully utilized to manage a situation. It can also demonstrate to the facilitator, how a participant responds within social settings.



Advantagecare. (2018, November 13). What is individual therapy, and how does it work? Advantage care. Advantage Care Health Center. 

Cherry, K. (2024, January 12). How group therapy works. Verywell Mind.