Individual therapy is a growth process of building a working relationship and addressing various life challenges in a one on one format. The purpose of individual therapy is to eliminate or control troubling symptoms so you can function better and increase your well-being and sense of fulfillment. Individual therapy is highly confidential, strictly professional and based on therapeutic principles, structure and technique. When considering individual therapy services, there are a few questions and considerations to make before beginning treatment. With individual therapy you are making an investment into your mental health and well-being. By clearly defining my commitment to you as your therapist, and your commitment to yourself as my client, we both take our first steps toward establishing a comfortable and trusting foundation for our therapeutic relationship to grow. If this is your first experience with individual therapy, you might be asking yourself some of these frequently asked questions.
I’m not sure I’m ready to start therapy. Does this really work and is it worth my time?
I tailor my therapeutic approach to your specific needs, and therefore no two sessions are alike. The benefits you obtain from individual therapy depend on how much time you commit to practice and process what you have learned. Some of the benefits of individual therapy include:
- Attaining a better understanding of yourself and clarifying your goals and values
- Developing new skills for improving your relationships
- Finding healthy ways to cope with feelings like stress, anxiety, panic, depression, loss, loneliness, anger, and grief
- Improving control over your thoughts, emotions, and actions
- Changing old behavior patterns and developing new healthier patterns
- Understanding human needs and finding healthy ways to get yours met
- Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
- Discovering new ways to solve problems with your family, partner or work
- Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence
How long does therapy last, and how often do I need to attend?
The duration of treatment varies for each person. It all depends on what you want and need. Sometimes there is a very specific problem that needs to be addressed and could be resolved in a few sessions. Other problems and concerns might be deeper than finding an immediate solution, and you may want to allow yourself more time as therapy could last several months. The duration of therapy is influenced by your needs and expectations, which we will discuss during treatment. Some other influences that could effect the duration of therapy include: symptoms, trauma, behaviors, patterns, learning and practicing new skills, and progress towards goals.
In my practice, we generally begin treatment by meeting on a weekly basis. This allows me to measure your progress closely and observe what is working or not working for you. If something is not working, we can adjust and modify sooner than later. We can discuss any other goals you would like to address, and adjust our treatment plan as needed. Problems are a part of life, so therapy ends when you feel confident about how to handle the problems, not when there are no presenting problems. As your symptoms are reduced and progress is made, we can discuss reducing the frequency of sessions to biweekly, monthly or as needed. My goal for you is to bring what you learn from our sessions into your everyday life, so you can experience long-term change and thrive independently without the need for therapy.
How can I get the most out of individual therapy?
It is important to understand that you will get quicker and more significant results from therapy if you actively participate in and commit to the process. This includes taking chances, being open, showing up on time, attending sessions regularly, doing the homework and being patient to allow the process to work. Motivation usually occurs after taking an action, then momentum builds. The most important actions being the ones taken outside of therapy sessions, in your everyday life. Taking action is not always easy, but we will discuss strategies to overcome barriers to taking action. Growth and progress are fulfilling, so developing a desire for continued growth is a worthwhile lifetime endeavor.
My commitment to you
The clearest indicator for positive therapeutic outcomes is our ability to build a strong, trusting, connected relationship. I believe you deserve my highest standards and best services possible. I value continued education, self-care, and personal growth. I’ve committed myself to being a lifelong student of psychology, change, success, and long-term results. I take time daily to grow and keep up with the latest research, investing my time in learning from successful leaders in the helping professions. I study people who have made incredible changes, against all odds, to find clues about what works. I learn from my past clients who have had success, in order to share these insights with others. I believe we are best able to contribute to, help, and support others when we are healthy ourselves, and “practicing what we preach.” As your therapist, I value who you are in this moment. I value your time, your energy, your investment in me, and your commitment to reaching your personal goals.
Your commitment to yourself and this process
I understand that making the decision to begin individual therapy is a courageous one and I commend you for taking the first step. I also want you to be prepared and get the most out of our time together. Here are a couple of questions I would like you to answer before we get started.
1.) What do I want to gain from this experience?
2.) Why am I now seeking help?
Before we begin treatment, it is important to realize that your commitment has a large impact on your outcome. This means your commitment to this process must include:
- Showing up on time
- Attending sessions regularly
- Utilizing the Telehealth option if your not able to physically attend a session
- Doing any homework and implementing what you learn as soon as possible
- Being open to taking chances
- Understanding that just being you, in this moment, is enough
- Being honest