What is Individual Therapy, and How does it Work?

March 22, 2019

alcohol allergy & intolerance symptoms & treatment services can be taken advantage of by anyone and anywhere. No matter who you are or what your story and treatment goals are as a client, you deserve to be able to work with a therapist that can guide you and be of assistance to you. Psychodynamic therapy can be a longer-term approach to mental health treatment, compared to cognitive behavioral therapy and other types of therapy. Traditional psychoanalysis is an intensive form of treatment that people can go to for years.

  • Some of these schools of thought include psychoanalysis, behaviorism, cognitivism, and systems psychology.
  • There are no harmful side effects to trying individual therapy, and you have nothing to lose by participating and changing your behaviors.
  • Psychodynamic therapy can be a longer-term approach to mental health treatment, compared to cognitive behavioral therapy and other types of therapy.
  • GoodTherapy is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, medical treatment, medication, or therapy.

Never disregard professional psychological or medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice or treatment because of something you have read on GoodTherapy. Treatment for severe mental health conditions was often harsh and inhumane until reformers worked for better conditions during the 18th century. By the end of the 19th century, most American towns had an asylum.

When people hear the word “psychotherapy,” many imagine the stereotypical image of a patient lying on a couch talking while a therapist sits in a nearby chair jotting down thoughts on a yellow notepad. The reality is that there are a variety of techniques and practices used in psychotherapy. Keep in mind that many therapists use a combination of techniques from different types of therapy. It’s also perfectly normal to try one approach, find that it doesn’t work for you, and try a different type. In this philosophical approach to treatment, you’ll consider concepts such as responsibility for your choices and your freedom to make choices.

A compassionate approach deeply rooted in scientific techniques and creative solutions to achieve sustainable transformation.

Common goals of therapy can be to inspire change or improve quality of life. People may seek therapy for help with issues that are hard to face alone. Individual therapy is also called therapy, psychotherapy, psychosocial therapy, talk therapy, and counseling. Research has shown that psychotherapy results in fewer relapses of common conditions such as moderate depression and anxiety, and that the positive effects of good therapy extend well beyond treatment.

individual therapy

Establishing clear goals will provide direction as well as help you to monitor your progress in counseling. If you have any questions or concerns about the counseling process, don’t hesitate to bring these up with your clinician, who will be pleased to discuss them with you. The exact direction of your counseling experience will depend on the issues you bring into counseling, your clinician’s perspective, and the goals you set for your work together. People who provide psychotherapy can hold a number of different titles or degrees. Titles such as “psychologist” or “psychiatrist” are protected and carry specific educational and licensing requirements.

All the above mentioned types of therapy are recognized by the American Psychological Association. Dialectical behavior therapy also falls under CBT, although some schools of thought consider it separate. You’ve read self-help books, explored some techniques you read about online, or even tried just ignoring the problem, yet things just seem to be staying the same or even getting worse. Individual therapy, which involves working one-on-one with a psychotherapist. Systematic desensitization combines relaxation exercises with gradual exposure to something you fear.

Find a Therapist

We’ve tried, tested and written unbiased reviews of the best online therapy programs including Talkspace, Betterhelp, and Regain. Couples therapy, which involves working with a therapist as a couple to improve how you function in your relationship. With your therapist’s guidance, you’ll explore ways to replace negative thought patterns or behaviors with ones that are more helpful and accurate. In CBT sessions, you’ll work on identifying patterns and learning more about how they might negatively affect you. The idea behind CBT is that certain feelings or beliefs you have about yourself or situations in your life can lead to distress.

However, in addition to these approaches, there are other types of therapy that can be beneficial for some individuals. One type of therapy that is lesser known is acceptance and commitment therapy, also known as commitment therapy act. This type of therapy helps people with complex concerns and poor emotional health accept reality as it is and thrive regardless of their situation.

individual therapy

If you feel that the problem you are facing interrupts a number of important areas of your life, including school, work, and relationships, it may be time to try psychotherapy. Mental health conditions can create distress and make it difficult to function, but psychotherapy can help improve well-being and reduce the negative impact of many symptoms. This psychoanalytic approach involves delving into a person’s thoughts and past experiences to seek out unconscious thoughts, feelings, and memories that may influence behavior. With this approach, you’ll look at unresolved issues, such as relationship and family conflicts, considering how they affect your emotional well-being.

Benefits of talk therapy

Priority Research Areas Learn about NIMH priority areas for research and funding that have the potential to improve mental health care over the short, medium, and long term. Mental illness still has many stigmas attached to it, and individuals experiencing mental illness often want to keep their condition private. This type of counseling allows individuals to talk to someone who understands their condition and will give them full attention while maintaining their privacy. Individual therapy also makes technology assisted therapy feel less virtual and more real. Conversely, remaining in denial can be harmful to your future and block you from opportunities which could be beneficial for you. At the end of the day, acknowledging the existence of issues and tackling them head-on with a therapist and their clinical observations is always better for your well being than simply ignoring them.

CBT can also be very helpful for certain conditions when combined with medication. This is similar to systematic desensitization, but it involves facing your fears directly from the start, rather than gradually. If you have a phobia of dogs, for example, the first exposure step might be sitting in a room of friendly, playful dogs. With systematic desensitization, on the other hand, your first exposure step might be looking at pictures of dogs. If you’re looking into therapy, another place to start is by talking with a general physician about getting a referral. Adults can react to children with ADHD in ways that create more struggle for everyone.


DBT uses CBT skills, but it prioritizes acceptance and emotional regulation. You can expect to work on developing skills to cope alcohol addiction treatment center with distressing or challenging situations. You may also learn how to accept and deal with difficult emotions when they arise.

What to look for in a therapist

This means they have been subject to research studies and clinical observations to test their effectiveness. Individual counseling is a process through which clients work one-on-one with a trained mental health clinician in a safe, caring, and confidential environment. The goal of therapy is to gain relief from symptoms, maintain or improve daily functioning, and improve quality of life. If you have been in therapy for what feels like a reasonable amount of time and are not getting better, talk to your therapist or explore other mental health professionals or approaches. Individual therapy is a psychotherapy method that involves a licensed therapist providing professional help for a single person.

Even the best therapists aren’t perfect, and it’s possible for effective, ethical therapists to make mistakes or inadvertently upset a client. But there are some therapists, unfortunately, who are not suited to the profession. Therapists who are judgmental or condescending to the client are also likely not good fits, as are therapists who frequently appear bored or distracted. There are countless compassionate and effective therapists in the world—but not every single therapist is the best person to help every individual seeking treatment. Though it can be frustrating for patients and professionals alike, finding the right therapist is usually a process of trial and error.

Whatever your issues may be, therapy can be a life-changing experience. Advantage Care Health Centers provides mental and behavioral health services for individuals that work to improve overall wellness. If you want to find out more about how our community health center can be of assistance, contact us today. GoodTherapy is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, medical treatment, medication, or therapy. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding any mental health symptom or medical condition. GoodTherapy is not authorized to make recommendations about medication or serve as a substitute for professional advice.

Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the medications for treating alcohol dependence latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Like behavioral therapy, CBT doesn’t spend much time addressing past events.

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