Individual therapy (sometimes called “psychotherapy” or “counseling”) is a process through which clients work one-on-one with a trained therapist—in a safe, caring, and confidential environment—to explore their feelings, beliefs, or behaviors, work through challenging or influential memories, identify aspects of their lives that they would like to change, better understand themselves and others, set personal goals, and work toward desired change.
People seek therapy for a wide variety of reasons, from coping with major life challenges or childhood trauma, to dealing with depression or anxiety, to simply desiring personal growth and greater self-knowledge. A client and therapist may work together for as few as five or six sessions or as long as several years, depending on the client’s unique needs and personal goals for therapy.
Group therapy can help people improve their mental health. It involves at least one mental health professional and two or more people in therapy. Many use it to address a specific mental health concern. The group dynamic often helps people feel supported as they move forward. Whether your goal is growth, improving social skills, or something else, group therapy could help you achieve it.
Group therapy is generally acknowledged as beginning when the physician J. H. Pratt began group sessions to instruct individuals in the care of tuberculosis. Pratt found that the groups benefited the members emotionally due to supporting one another in shared experiences. Pratt eventually began referring to his sessions as group psychotherapy. Group psychotherapy began to increase in popularity following World War II when groups of combat veterans were treated together, and specific benefits from these group sessions were observed.