Individual therapy consists of a therapeutic situation where one individual is involved in the therapeutic process with at least one therapist. At SVR, a therapist can be anyone professionally trained in the use of therapy, including a psychologist, social worker, or a Certified Canadian Counsellor. Individual therapy has many advantages. It provides a confidential setting where clients can talk about their issues. The client receives one-on-one attention from the therapist, and this allows the therapist to be very thorough in understanding the specific problems of the client and in developing an individualized approach to helping the client. The pace of the therapy can be tailored to the specific client. It can be sped up in cases where clients can handle more focused and intense interventions, or it can be slowed down in cases where clients need time to adjust and move slowly.The therapeutic alliance, which refers to the working relationship between the client and therapist, is an important component of individual therapy. Research investigating the components of effective therapy have consistently pointed out that the therapeutic alliance is a key component of a successful therapy intervention.
Group therapy is defined as having more than one client treated at the same time by at least one therapist. Group sizes can vary depending on the type of group therapy being employed. At SVR, group therapy size consists of a maximum of four participants. There are a number of advantages that occur in group therapy.Group therapy assures individuals that they are not alone and that other individuals share similar problems and struggles. Group therapy offers the opportunity to both receive support from others and to give support to others. Both of these notions are important in treatment. Receiving support from others is part of the bonding or therapeutic alliance that occurs in groups, whereas giving support to others allows for growth and learning.The therapeutic alliance that occurs in groups is broader than the alliance that occurs in individual therapy. This allows for the incorporation of many different points of view. Group therapy helps individuals develop communication skills and socialization skills, and allows clients to learn how to express their issues and accept criticism from others. Group therapy allows individuals to develop self-awareness by listening to others with similar issues. Sharing one’s experiences with others with similar problems is often itself therapeutic. Group therapy provides a broad safety net for individuals who may otherwise be hesitant to discuss their feelings, perceived weaknesses, etc.Individuals in group therapy can model the successful behaviors of other individuals who have gone through similar experiences. Modeling is a form of learning where individuals learn by copying or imitating the actions of others.
Couples therapy is a type of psychotherapy in which a therapist with clinical experience working with couples, helps two people involved in a romantic relationship gain insight into their relationship, resolve conflict and improve relationship satisfaction utilizing a variety of therapeutic interventions. Although the practice of couples therapy may vary depending on the therapist’s theoretical orientation, all couples therapy tends to involve the following general elements such as focusing on a specific problem (i.e. sexual difficulties, Internet addiction, jealousy), the active participation on the part of the therapist in treating the relationship itself, rather than each individual and clear establishment of treatment objectives. Couples therapy will usually begin with some standard interview questions regarding the history of the relationship as well as some exploration into each partner’s family-of-origin, values and cultural background. The therapist might use the initial sessions for crisis intervention if necessary. The couples therapist will then assist the couple in identifying the issue that will be the focus of treatment, establishing treatment goals and planning a structure for treatment. During the treatment phase, the therapist will help the couple gain insight into the relational dynamics maintaining the problem, while helping both partners understand each of their roles in the dysfunctional interactions. This will help them change the way they perceive the relationship and each other. Although gaining insight is important, another crucial aspect of couples therapy involves actually changing behaviors and ways of interacting with each other. Couples therapists will often assign partners homework to apply the skills they have learned in therapy to their day-to-day interactions. Most couples can come away from couples therapy having gained insight into relational patterns, increased emotional expression and developed the skills necessary to communicate and problem-solve with their partners more effectively. Couples therapy can be a challenging form of therapy as patterns of behaviours are confronted and both partners have to engage fully in order to see gains and changes.