Lantana Recovery
A modern, community-based approach to addiction treatment for Men and Women in Charleston, SC

One-on-One Coaching Or Group Coaching-What To Choose?

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Key takeaways:

  • Interacting with a like-minded tribe can be a fantastic experience, but learning from new perspectives in diverse groups can also be beneficial.
  • Choosing between one-on-one coaching and group coaching can impact the recovery process for a recovering addict.
  • One-on-one coaching allows for personalized and tailored programs, suitable for individuals who may have anxiety or other personal reasons for not participating in a group setting.
  • Group coaching offers different viewpoints, collective energy, and wisdom, fostering growth and understanding through interaction with other group members.
  • Group coaching programs should ideally last at least three months to fully engage participants and allow for significant progress.
  • The choice between group and one-on-one coaching is subjective and depends on individual preferences and comfort levels.
  • Accountability is essential in both coaching methods to ensure progress and goal achievement.
  • Mental and emotional well-being should be considered when choosing a coaching method, and the program should contribute positively to these aspects.
  • Ultimately, the decision should be made based on individual needs and circumstances to support mental, emotional, and physical health recovery effectively.

Whenever you get the opportunity to interact with a tribe of individuals who share the same beliefs and values you will witness a fantastic experience. Sometimes, you won’t be able to meet people who share the same thought and belief system and that will be even more fantastic because you get to learn things from a new perspective.

While for others, sitting down in a group and exchanging thoughts and beliefs might not be very effective.

If we look at this system from the point of view of a recovering addict then the patient might be comfortable with either; group or one-on-one sessions. But which one? Choosing a coaching session affects how you recover so you must weigh in all the pros and cons of both AND what suits your personality better.

To help you out with your decision, here at Lantana, we will weigh both probabilities so you can pick whichever works best for you.

One-on-One Coaching Sessions

One-on-one coaching, as obvious by the name, is the one in which a person is directly communicating with and receiving coaching from a professional. The programs that they are made to follow are completely personalized and tailored for them.

As mentioned above, for some people coming to an outpatient treatment center, sitting with a number of people and sharing beliefs and thoughts might not sound like a very good idea. There can be many reasons as to why an individual doesn’t feel ready for group coaching.

Some people might have anxiety which prevents them from speaking out in front of people as several evidences from epidemiologic and treatment studies indicate that anxiety disorders, depression, and substance use disorders commonly co-occur. Other people might not be ready to handle criticism just yet. There could be some sort of trauma, previous bad experiences, fear, and/or anxiety.

Because of these reasons, some people are more comfortable in a one-one-session while others feel more confident in group programs. And that is perfectly okay. If you are opting for one-on-one sessions for whatever reasons, then remember that you have the right to choose it. As you start the individualized program your therapist will get to know why you aren’t comfortable speaking up in a group setting and then he/she can slowly help you transition and adjust in group therapy.

Group Coaching

When you are a part of the group, you get to experience different viewpoints, deal with challenges and problems in a holistic manner, and get different outlooks and perspectives because of how other minds are working together. Working together in a tribe allows you to expand the network you have.

You know, like you had a group of friends in university, and how you enjoyed hanging out with them? How did it nurture your growth and give you a better understanding of life? Why not go for group coaching then?

Having all of this said, if you agree with what is written above, you must then understand the importance of group coaching sessions. Many coaches share the view that doing individual work is sufficient to succeed in terms of coaching.

In group sessions, you get to witness collective energy and wisdom. This energy is reflected in the work that you do, which in the long run, benefits you massively. Not just this, group coaching allows one to generate a payoff higher than one-on-coaching – a win-win situation for everyone.

The Framework of the Group Coaching Program

Now that you have understood the importance of group coaching, the next step is to understand the framework regarding the program you will initiate. This factor mostly includes program delivery and its length.

In this case, there are no certain dos and don’ts and program rules concerning how short, or long the group coaching session may be. However, you might want to benefit from the rule of thumb: go with a program that is long rather than short.

Wondering why? We are getting to it.

Ideally, it would be best if you thought about at least a 3-month long program that fully engages your group members. 3-months is a minimum, by the way. There are a number of coaching programs that do not end before six months and go as long as completing the entire year.

The duration of the program also depends on how you intend to deliver the group coaching sessions. For example, a number of people opt for subscription models where the client is responsible for paying a fee in order for them to continue coaching the group. If you like the sound of this, you may want to consider offering a fee at decent price rates to motivate and encourage prospective clients to their long-term commitment.

Group Coaching Vs. One-On-One Coaching Sessions

There’s no deciding factor as to which one is best because the choice of it is subjective. Group coaching might work for you but not for others and the other way around too.

Generally, people think that group coaching is just coaching team members who sit in a group setting and turn by turn, one person has to speak. You may feel that it is like an individual therapy session, where one individual speaks and then the second, and so on.

When it comes to group coaching sessions, it is not just about getting a few people to sit together and talk to them for the next 5 to 10 minutes individually until all the members are covered. Group Coaching strengthens community, communication, and connection from an individual by interacting with other group members. It is when all members of the group are focused on achieving the same goal.

While group sessions definitely have their advantages, one-on-one coaching sessions are also useful. One of the major advantages is that it gives you more personal space. You can sit down and talk freely to the person you’re comfortable talking to. By doing one-on-one sessions, a person can overcome his/her insecurities and when they feel ready, they can jump to group therapy.

The successful ingredient is accountability

No matter which way of coaching you decide, the key factor is accountability. If you are receiving coaching, you should feel accountable for the progress you make through it. And if you are providing coaching, then you are also accountable for designing a program that is actually focused on helping your patients.

Reporting progress to the coach, acknowledging it to yourself and other group members (In case you are in group programs), so that everyone is posted on the same goals and objectives. Instilling the importance of accountability is a great motivator that encourages people to own up to their responsibilities.

Give Importance to Mental and Emotional Well-being

For personal checkout, you need to see whether they have an ‘I don’t care’ attitude or not. Often, participants invest their time and money, and energy in the program, but because they feel they are not getting the results they anticipated, they feel drifted away. You need to make sure you stay engaged and see the bigger picture.

Again, while choosing group sessions or one-on-one sessions, make sure that you give importance to your mental and emotional well-being. For instance, group “professional coaching reduced emotional exhaustion and impostor syndrome scores and increased self-compassion scores among female resident physicians (Effect of a Novel Online Group-Coaching Program to Reduce Burnout in Female Resident Physicians, Fainstad et al., 2022.)

  • Pilot randomized clinical trial with 101 female resident physicians.
  • Participants were divided into two groups: a group-coaching program and a control group.
  • The group-coaching program lasted for 6 months.
  • After the program, participants showed a statistically significant reduction in the emotional exhaustion subscale of burnout compared to the control group.
  • The study suggests that the group-coaching program had a positive impact on reducing burnout in female resident physicians.

Whatever you choose will directly affect these things so it is better to ask this question to yourself: “Is the program I’m choosing contributing positively towards my mental and emotional well-being?”After all, that is what you are receiving coaching for.

Bottom Line

Group coaching and one-on-one coaching session, both have their pros and there is no set way to which is better for who. If you have decided for coaching, it’s time for you to sit down and think about this. Talk to a trusted friend or family member and then decide, keeping in mind all the factors of your mental health, your circumstances, and your comfortability.  Only you can decide which one will be the best fit for your mental, emotional, and physical health recovery.


Warren Phillips

Warren is a Licensed Master Social Worker, who specializes in substance abuse and mental health treatment. Clinically, Warren has developed a therapeutic skillset that utilizes a strengths-based perspective, Twelve Step philosophies, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Motivational Interviewing.

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Charleston South Carolina

Charleston South Carolina

Located on the historic peninsula of Charleston, South Carolina, Lantana Recovery takes a modern approach to Substance Use Disorder treatment, offering intensive clinical care while also immersing our clients in local Charleston culture.