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Group Therapy works!

answered 08:08 AM EST, Wed April 04, 2012
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anonymous anonymous
Is individual therapy in rehab important? I am looking at a place for my brother that is all group therapy and AA and stuff. There’s this other place that also has private counseling sessions but it is a lot more expensive. My mom is footing the bill and I am trying to help her make a smart decision.

Scott Graham Says...

Group counseling can be very effective independent of individual counseling.

It very much depends on where a person is in terms of taking action in their recovery.  And it also depends on what modality of counseling (Reality Therapy, REBT, Motivational Interviewing) that the counselor says they are practicing.  Reality Therapy and REBT have been shown to be very effective in a group context.  Motivational Interviewing has not been show to be effective in a group context.

For example, if a person is solid in their desire to stay sober and the counselor practices motivational interviewing they would probably be fine -- just needing peer support -- in which case the group functions more like AA.  But if the person is uncertain about sobriety and the counselor practices motivational interviewing, individual counseling would be more effective.

Furthermore, the entire milieu of the treatment center has an impact -- this factor can be the biggest factor of all.  I worked in an adventure-based program for many years and the therapeutic power of the wilderness / group milieu was tremendous.

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Page last updated Apr 04, 2012

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