Individual therapy is a two-way process between a therapist and the person seeking therapy. Common goals of therapy can be to inspire change in the mindset or to improve the quality of life. People may seek therapy for assistance with issues that are hard to face by themselves. Individual therapy is also known as therapy, psychotherapy, psychosocial therapy, talk therapy, and counseling.
Therapy can help people overcome obstacles to their well-being and can increase positive feelings, such as compassion and self-esteem. People in therapy can learn skills for handling difficult situations, making healthy choices, and planning and achieving goals. Many find they enjoy the therapeutic journey of becoming more self-aware. Some people choose ongoing therapy for self-growth.
When Should You Seek Therapy?
If your daily routine is hampered due to low phases or distress, it could be time to seek therapy. Distress can mean negative thoughts, feelings, behaviors, or even a bodily sensation such as pain or fatigue. It is important not to wait until symptoms become severe before going to therapy. It may be best to seek therapy if you are often unhappy or feel overwhelmed and hopeless about issues in your life. Therapy can also help if you cannot focus on work or school, experience addiction, or feel like hurting yourself or someone else.
A trained therapist can help people make lifestyle changes. They can also help identify the underlying causes of symptoms and provide strategies for changing unwanted thoughts and behaviors. Therapy can equip people with the skills to manage symptoms, reduce stress, and improve quality of life.
What To Expect During Therapy?
The first session of therapy often focuses on gathering information. A therapist speaks with the person in treatment about their past physical, mental, and emotional health. They also discuss the concerns bringing the person to therapy. It can take a few sessions for a therapist to have a good understanding of the situation. Only then can they address concerns and determine the best course of action.
Therapists encourage clients to speak and practice active listening during this time. At first, it may be hard to talk about past experiences or current concerns. Sessions may stir up intense emotions. It is possible to become upset, angry, or sad during treatment. However, therapists can help people build confidence and become more comfortable as sessions progress.
Therapists might assign “homework” to help the people in their care build on topics discussed in therapy. Individuals in treatment can also ask questions at any point in the process. As time passes, people in therapy may develop a more positive mood and healthier thinking patterns.
Clients in treatment can expect confidentiality during therapy sessions. But a therapist may break confidentiality if someone is in immediate danger of harming themselves or others. Therapists may also do this if required to by federal or state law. Many therapists explain the limits of confidentiality and provide written guidelines during the first therapy session.
There are many forms of therapy. Some types of treatment work better than others when handling different issues. It is common for therapists to combine ideas from different approaches when addressing a person’s needs.
Duration of Therapy
Individual therapy sessions often last from 45 to 60 minutes. How often sessions occur and how long they last would depend on many factors, including:
- The mental health condition the clients presents with and its severity.
- The amount of time the person in therapy has had the issue.
- How much the issue affects day-to-day life.
- How much distress the issue causes.
- How quickly the person in therapy improves.
- Financial limitations.
Some concerns can be addressed through short-term therapy over a few weeks. However, chronic, or more complex concerns can require long-term counseling. Sometimes, it may take more than a year for noticeable progress to be made.
Benefits Of Therapy
Even if therapy cannot cure a condition, it can help people develop healthy coping skills. Determination to be active in therapy and heal is essential for meeting therapeutic goals and fostering a positive therapeutic relationship. Finding the right therapist is also crucial to the treatment process.
When a person in therapy is open and honest, therapists generally are better able to address each issue and adjust the treatment approach as needed. Going to therapy might feel difficult on some days. But it is important to attend each session and complete any homework assigned. Being patient and sticking to the treatment plan can facilitate long-term success in therapy.