INDIVIDUAL, FAMILY, AND MARRIAGE COUNSELING
“Therapy” is a very broad term used to describe various styles and modes of treatment. It can be confusing because in addition to the types of therapy and therapist, there are different techniques, theories, and approaches that can be used differently. While the descriptions offered below are meant to give basic differences, the style and manner in which the various therapies are offered can vary widely. Here are some general differences to keep in mind when you are considering therapy.
In individual therapy, the focus is on the development of a one-to-one relationship with the therapist. The relationship can take on many facets depending on the approach the therapist is using, but most often involves the creation of an accepting atmosphere along with the use of techniques for the purpose of symptom reduction and/or personal development. The individual is engaged in a self-reflective process on his or her emotions and behaviors.
Couples Therapy usually involves an intense focus on improving the communication pattern within the couple. Unlike individual therapy, couple’s therapy involves the therapist entering the couple’s way of life more directly. They bring their habits and routines with each other directly into the session. The therapist is involved in analyzing and offering feedback about the interactions the couple is having, and makes suggestions about ways to improve it. It is typically considered more intensive than individual therapy because both partners are invited to co-create the process of change.
Group therapy typically rests on the dynamic interaction of the members of the group. The emphasis is on helping participants understand the projection they have toward other members, while learning from the feedback they receive from others, including the therapist.