Individual counseling is a personal opportunity to receive support and experience growth during challenging times in life. Individual counseling can help one deal with many personal topics in life such as anger, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage and relationship challenges, parenting problems, school difficulties, career changes, etc.
Individual counseling (sometimes called psychotherapy, talk therapy, or treatment) is a process through which clients work one-on-one with a trained mental health clinician in a safe, caring, and confidential environment. Counseling allows individuals to explore their feelings, beliefs, and 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.
Individual counseling is counseling focused on the individual’s immediate or near future concerns. Individual counseling may encompass career counseling and planning, grief after a loved one dies or dealing with problems at a job before they become big. Individual counseling is a one-on-one discussion between the counselor and the client, who is the person seeking treatment. The two form an alliance, relationship or bond that enables trust and personal growth.
How Are Therapy Goals, Frequency, and Duration Determined?
In general, the goal of psychotherapy is to talk through mental health concerns and help clients heal, grow, and move toward more productive, psychologically healthy lives. Good therapy is client-driven, and specific goals for therapy will be determined by you and your therapist.
Individual psychotherapy sessions typically last between 45 and 50 minutes. The frequency and duration of therapy will depend largely on your needs, treatment goals, and progress. Many concerns are readily resolved with short-term therapy, and other chronic or more complex concerns require long-term commitment before improvement is realized.
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. In fact, many clients report improved conditions long after therapy has ended. In general, psychotherapy is often more effective than psychotropic drugs or medical treatments alone, which may cause harmful side effects. In addition, many therapeutic modalities are evidence-based, meaning they have been subject to research studies and clinical observations, and they have been analyzed for effectiveness.