When people hear the word “therapy”, they tend to associate it with individual therapy. However, there are multiple types of therapy out there. In order to determine which type(s) you may be interested in, here’s some info on what’s available out there:
Individual therapy is the same as one on one therapy. It typical involves one client and their therapist meeting weekly/bi-weekly/monthly, and work on their goals. Occasionally, a family member may join them in a session, but it’s usually just two people in the room.
Couples therapy is exactly what it sounds like: therapy for couples. They can be dating, engaged, or married; there’s no requirement to be officially married. Those individuals within couple meet with the therapist to discuss any issues that come up within the relationship and/or goals they want to work on together.
Sometimes the family is going through something difficult, like a transition, or illness, or death. The family may need to go to therapy together to work through this issue together. They will learn to improve communication with one another and build up skills to help them work on functioning better as a whole.
This involves a group of people getting together who have a common issue, whether it is a mental health diagnosis or a specific type of therapy modality, and a therapist teaches them skills and helps them process their feelings together.
IOP stands for intensive outpatient group. These groups usually meet 3 times a week for a few weeks or months and often involve psychoeducation (teaching about issues and coping skills). This type of therapy is great for people who are really struggling with their mental health and once a week therapy isn’t enough.
Partial hospitalization groups tend to meet daily for the duration of the day. They are similar to IOP groups, just longer hours each day and more intense. Usually people in these groups have either recently been discharged from the hospital or are here to prevent themselves from being checked into the psych unit.
Support groups tend to be the most informal of the groups. They are typically led by a mental health professional and tend to revolve around a specific topic. Example: grieving spouses, infidelity, depression, or PTSD. The group leader helps facilitate conversations amongst the group and the members of the group share stories and experiences to help one another cope.
Some clients may benefit from different types of therapy at different times in their life or for different reasons. There are many options out there for everyone. One person may be self conscious and prefer one on one for the privacy. As a North Carolina based therapist who primarily sees clients for individual therapy, I have seen many people who prefer this type of therapy.
Another person may find individual therapy to be too intimidating and they may like being part of a group. Some individuals find themselves in multiples types of therapy at the same time. For example: someone who has been cheated on may be in individual therapy for their own anxiety, be in couples counseling with their spouse, and be part of a support group for people experiencing the same issue.
With so many types of therapy out there, there is no reason to struggle alone. If you’re experiencing an issue that you would like help with, look up any of these types of therapy in your area. With virtual therapy, you can see a therapist or be part of a group that exists anywhere within your state, so the options are out there!