Counselling & Psychology
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Individual Counselling?
As you may already know, the purpose of counselling is to help those dealing with anxiety, stress, or depression. It embraces the saying that ‘an ounce of prevention is equal to a pound of cure’, which means counselling can help deal with your issues before they get severe.
While there remains the opportunity for individual and group counselling, clients choose either of them as per their needs and convenience. This blog guides you about the advantages and disadvantages of individual counselling to help you decide which one you should go for.
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Table of Content
- What is Individual Counselling?
- What are the Advantages of Individual Counselling?
- 1. Ensures Confidentiality
- 2. Provides a Comfortable Environment
- 3. Confirms Focused Attention
- 4. Allows Flexibility
- 5. Assures a Comprehensive Treatment
- 6. Promotes a Healthy Relationship with the Counsellor
- 7. Enables a Better Communication
- 8. Reduces the Possibility of Personal Conflicts
- 9. Less occurrence of Judgement
- 10. Treatment according to Client’s Convenience
- What are the Disadvantages of Individual Counselling?
- Guidance Vs Counselling:
What is Individual Counselling?
Individual counselling is the process of one-on-one discussion between the client and the counsellor in a safe and confidential environment.
Through individual counselling, clients explore their feelings, beliefs and behaviours to understand themselves better and identify those aspects of their lives that they would like to change.
This type of counselling focuses on the individual’s immediate or near future concerns. For example, a client dealing with personal issues such as marriage and relationship challenges or facing difficulties at the workplace can benefit from individual counselling.
Individual counselling allows the formation of a bond between the client and the counsellor that ensures trust and personal growth.
Types of Counselling
There is a wide range of specialities in the field of counselling. While the area of focus is gradually expanding, the types of counselling include but is not limited to-
- Educational Counselling
- Career Counselling
- Marriage and Family Counselling
- Mental Health Counselling
- Rehabilitation Counselling
This type of counselling assists and guides the student body. Educational counsellors do this by monitoring students’ workloads and GPAs and assisting them with improvement tactics. They also conduct seminars and private sessions to discuss the students’ interests and help them choose the right concentration of study.
The type of counselling that helps people figure out which career path is right for them is known as career counselling. Here the counsellors provide professional advice to the counsellee by discussing their career interests and possibilities. To do this, career counsellors might conduct certain types of personality tests such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to help the client have a better picture of themselves.
Marriage and Family Counselling
Counselling that focuses on improving your communication and conflict-resolution skills is Marriage and Family Counselling. Since every marriage has ups and downs, it often becomes difficult to cope with the problems in a troubled relationship. Therefore, marriage and family counselling prescribe solutions to overcome the problems.
Mental Health Counselling
Mental health counselling is about providing psychological care to patients suffering from both acute and chronic mental or psychological difficulties. Traumas, depression, addiction and phobias are just a few mental health issues that mental health professionals typically treat.
This type of counselling help to improve individuals’ physical and emotional well-being. Rehabilitation counselling assists individuals who are struggling with their personal, social, or physical disabilities.
What are the Advantages of Individual Counselling?
When it comes to the advantages of individual counselling, there are a plethora of them. Learn what you can gain from individual counselling sessions.
1. Ensures Confidentiality
Confidentiality is an essential element of individual counselling. Counsellors are not supposed to reveal any information shared by their clients with others. Unlike group counselling, individual counselling assures confidentiality, i.e. any information shared by the client remains between the client and the counsellor only.
2. Provides a Comfortable Environment
Some clients hesitate to share their personal problems in groups. As such, the client might not open up fully during the counselling session and will withhold some information. With individual counselling, clients can express everything with comfort, so the counselling proceeds smoothly.
3. Confirms Focused Attention
In individual counselling, counsellors work solely with one client and put all their focus and energy into tailoring the therapy that would be suitable for the individual. This is a significant advantage compared to other types of counselling.
4. Allows Flexibility
Since individual counselling is a one-to-one session, the clients do not need to adjust their time for others. They can arrange a time for the therapy sessions that is most convenient for them.
5. Assures a Comprehensive Treatment
Compared to group therapy, the level of analysis and treatment can be much more comprehensive in individual therapy since the focus is not shifted to other clients.
6. Promotes a Healthy Relationship with the Counsellor
There is no doubt that a good therapeutic relationship between the client and counsellor aids in a successful therapy intervention. This bond is strongest in individual therapy.
7. Enables a Better Communication
When it is individual therapy, you get the opportunity to directly communicate with your counsellor without any intervention from other group members that might happen in group counselling. Thus, individual therapy enables you to communicate better and open up unhesitantly.
8. Reduces the Possibility of Personal Conflicts
In a group therapy session, there are possibilities of personality conflicts that can hold people back from the coping mechanisms they need to work on. However, in an individual therapy session, the possibility of personality conflict is less. Even if there is a conflict between the counsellor and patient, it can be easily resolved.
9. Less occurrence of Judgement
Within an individual therapy session, there is hardly any judgement because it’s just you and the counsellor in the session. Like in group counselling, there are no group members who might listen to your issues and be critical to judge you.
10. Treatment according to Client’s Convenience
The pace of the therapy can be customised as per the client’s need in the individual counselling. It can be accelerated in cases where the client can handle more focused and intense interventions and it can also be slowed down if the client needs time to adjust and move slowly.
What are the Disadvantages of Individual Counselling?
Now that you have become familiar with the advantages of Individual counselling find out the disadvantages as mentioned below-
1. High risk of getting too Personal
Since there is only the counsellor and the client working together in individual counselling, there remains a risk that the client will develop an emotional attachment to the counsellor and end up relying greatly on the counsellor. This could be a potential problem while making decisions, and the counsellor might discontinue counselling.
2. Unable to Provide a Sense of Belonging
Clients with mental health issues often suffer from loneliness. They struggle to share their feelings in fear of being judged, and they think that no one will understand them. Clients may find group mates with similar mental issues in a group setting and feel comfortable participating in the discussion. However, this is not possible in the case of individual counselling.
3. Clients are Deprived of Practical Wisdom
Counsellors provide the guidance to deal with almost any issue. However, wisdom can help a client take the next step, which can only be provided by someone who has already “been there.” Group therapy allows people to benefit from the wisdom of others who dealt with similar struggles instead of individual therapy.
4. Does not provide the Opportunity to Discover Yourself
When a person drowns in negative thoughts, actions, or behaviours, it becomes difficult to see what they are doing wrong from their perspective. Individual counselling does not allow one to address one’s negative cycle by seeing similar cycles in others, which is possible in group counselling.
5. Clients lack Support from Fellow Mates
As mentioned before, individual counselling is one-to-one counselling; there is no involvement of anyone else other than the client and counsellor. Thus clients lack the support of the group members that would have been possible in the group counselling.
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Guidance Vs Counselling:
The terms “Guidance” and “Counselling” might sound similar, but there exist differences between what they offer.
|Guidance refers to the advice or a relevant piece of information provided by an experienced person to resolve any problem or overcome difficulty.||Counselling refers to the professional advice given by counsellors to individuals to help them overcome their personal or psychological problems.|
|The guidance assists the person in choosing the best alternative.||Counselling tends to change the client’s perspective to help them get the solution by themself.|
|Guidance mostly helps with education and career-related issues.||Counselling helps with personal and socio-psychological issues.|
|Guidance is open and less private||Counselling is confidential|
|Decision making occurs through the guide||Decision making happens through the client|
This blog has explored the advantages and disadvantages of individual counselling, knowing which you can be benefited from if you are planning to go for a session. Moreover, it would help you compare individual and group counselling, making it easier to choose the right one for you.
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