To combat an addiction, most individuals begin with detox and then complete a range of therapies and treatments at rehab. One of the most important methods of recovery is one-on-one therapy. This individualized approach is flexible, customizable, can address the causes of addiction, and seeks to identify solutions that work for the long term. Dig deeper to see why individual therapy is a non-negotiable element of addiction recovery.
Develops a Meaningful Relationship Between Therapist and Patient
In a group environment, it can be tough to feel a close connection with anyone. While some patients thrive in the group dynamic, others want it to be more personal. Individual therapy allows each patient to create a meaningful relationship with his or her therapist or counselor.
In a one-on-one therapy session, patients and therapists can really get to know one another. In just a few hours or sessions, the dynamic will be established. Often, patients find it easier to open up to someone they know. Forging that relationship can be a great way to get the ball rolling.
Can Address the Root Causes of Addiction
It’s not enough to break the physical dependence on drugs or alcohol. The best addiction recovery will also work to find the root cause of addiction. By addressing that, it will be easier to prevent addiction from ever taking hold again.
There are many different factors that can lead to the development of addiction. Sometimes, these factors are obvious. In most cases, however, they have to be shared by the patient. That’s why it is so important for all patients to have the opportunity to communicate with therapists in a one-on-one setting.
Some patients might reveal early childhood trauma, or they might have been victims of abuse later in life. Other patients might struggle with a mental health problem. Still more patients might acknowledge that financial or work-related stress is their biggest struggle.
Recognizing and identifying these factors is the first step to addressing them. Once they are out in the open, it will be easier to get the right help and treatment. Some patients will benefit from behavioral therapy, others will need extensive talk therapy and still more might want to consider recreational therapy for stress relief. Before the right choice can be made, therapy needs to get to the root cause of the addiction.
Allows for Personal and Sensitive Discussions
There are many times during addiction treatment when patients might want to discuss sensitive or personal topics. While it is possible to introduce these issues in a group therapy session, most people won’t feel comfortable doing so. In individual therapy, patients will have the opportunity to share openly without judgement.
Therapists are trained to help, not judge. That’s important, because many patients want or need to share experiences in their past that aren’t pleasant. They may feel guilt about past actions or they might have suffered while in the throes of addiction.
These are personal issues, and few people want to share stories of abuse, sexual assault, relationship drama or serious medical problems in a big group. Nonetheless, many patients need to divulge this information in order to experience closure or peace of mind. It is often only through an individual therapy session that individuals feel comfortable enough to disclose these highly intimate details.
High Degree of Confidentiality
Many individuals in addiction treatment feel as if their privacy has been taken away from them. It is important to regain that sense of dignity in recovery. Sometimes, patients want or need to discuss things privately, and individual therapy is the best way to accomplish that.
It is true that most group therapy sessions encourage anonymity. Nonetheless, it is harder to feel that in a large group. When people are discussing their marriage, their fears over child custody battles, their struggles with self-esteem or their concerns about overdose, privacy is important. Confidentiality is easier to guarantee in a one-one-one environment with just one therapist and one patient.
Customizable and Flexible Format
One of the best things about individual therapy is that it can perfectly fit the needs and the schedule of the patient. The topics are flexible, and there is the opportunity to fluidly move from one issue to another. Plus, the duration and scheduling of sessions is easier to arrange.
Group therapy tends to have either a specific focus, or it is fluid and lets everyone discuss the issues that are important to them. Unfortunately, this means that individuals might not need or want to discuss those issues at that moment. In individual therapy, patients can direct the conversation. If a certain issue is pressing, that area can get 100 percent of the focus during that particular session.
Opportunities for Learning Personal Coping Mechanisms
One of the keys to relapse prevention is identifying triggers and developing coping mechanisms. These are highly individual and therapy is often the best time to learn more about them.
Triggers are moments when something sparks a serious craving for drugs or alcohol. It can be stress, sickness or a lack of confidence. In therapy, patients learn to recognize these triggers and address them directly.
Coping mechanisms are unique for every single patient. Often, they are a form of distraction. Having a snack, drinking a bottle of water or even going for a walk can all help. In other cases, the best way to cope will be to meet with a counselor, a mentor or a friend. In therapy, patients can practice identifying and choosing coping mechanisms, a skill that can go a long way in preventing a relapse in the years to come.
Specific Plans for the Future
After addiction, it can be challenging to make any kind of concrete plans for the future. However, being prepared is key for lasting sobriety. During individual therapy, patients will be able to talk about their goals and how they plan to proceed on their journey to recovery and still live a full life.
Individual therapy is undoubtedly one of the keys to recovery. During and after detox, individual therapy can play an important role in the battle to overcome addiction.