Modes of Therapy
12 Clinical Psychology
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So far we have discussed therapies that are largely individual—in other words, one-on-one. Another way that psychological services can be delivered is in groups.
The same types of therapies used in individual counseling can be used with a group of patients. Typically, group therapy is more helpful than individual counseling in enabling the client to discover that others have similar problems. Individuals receive information about their problems from either the therapist or other group members. Financially, group therapy is also cheaper for clients who might otherwise not be able to afford individual counseling. Less verbal clients and those more resistant in individual settings may find it easier to open up about their problems in a group setting. Clients get helpful feedback from peers that may allow them to gain better insight into their own particular situations.
Couples and Family Therapy
Trained professionals can direct spouses and family members to openly discuss their individual perspectives on the same issue. In the neutral setting of the therapist’s office, individuals can come to better understand others’ feelings and beliefs and how their behavior affects others. The therapy can serve as a training ground to practice better communication skills and bring about improved relationships.
Self-help groups are yet another way that individuals who share the same problem may get assistance. One of the best-known examples is Alcoholics Anonymous. Recovering alcoholics get peer support and have an outlet to share their individual experiences. It should be noted, however, that trained psychotherapists do not conduct these sessions. The responsibility for leading the group is up to the group members themselves. Meetings can be attended anywhere in the United States. New members can receive a sponsor, someone who has been in recovery for a longer time, to call in emergency situations. A spiritual aspect underlies Alcoholics Anonymous’s Twelve-Step Program as well.