As the name suggests, individual therapy is a joint process between the therapist and the patient seeking therapy. This one-on-one relationship help fosters a sense of trust and confidence between the patient and therapist.
During the initial sessions, the therapist gathers information and the patient decides if that specific therapist is right for their needs. Many therapists encourage patients in treatment to do most of the talking. At first, it may be hard to discuss past experiences or current concerns, and sessions may conjure up intense emotions. However, therapists can help patients build confidence and become more comfortable as sessions progress.
Problems don’t just affect patients — it also impacts their family members and friends. Family therapy can be useful in dealing with the impact of a crisis on those in close relationships with the patient, and it often assists by helping significant others better understand and learn coping skills to bring them closer together.
While individual therapy can be short or long-term, family therapy is often only short-term. This type of therapy allows families to explore roles, behavior patterns, and rules to identify certain issues that may have contributed to the patient’s addiction.
For patients not ready for individual therapy, group therapy attempts to give patients a comfortable place where they can process issues related to them with other patients with similar issues. Patients gain insight and offer suggestions and support to each other in a small group setting comprising roughly 5–15 individuals. Some patients may find it beneficial to attend individual or private therapy sessions in addition to group therapy sessions. Group therapy provides patients with a built-in, diverse support network — sometimes recovery takes a village.
The number of sessions depends on a few different factors such as the severity of a patient’s addiction, type of therapy they need, and the results of a mental health assessment by physicians. Individual therapy can last as few as five sessions or several years depending on a patient’s personal goals for therapy and unique needs. Family and group therapy is typically short term — approximately 12 sessions. However, how often patients meet a therapist and length of sessions depends on the family situation and therapist recommendation.
With different therapy options, patients trying to choose the right type of therapy for them can be a bit daunting. The team at Lake Behavioral Health will carefully go over patients’ medical records and inquire about their desires for treatment. Finding the right type of therapy and therapist is essential for a patient’s successful outcome.
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