What is Individual Therapy?
Individual therapy, also known as individual psychotherapy, individual counseling or talk therapy, is a joint (team-like) relationship between a trained, licensed professional therapist or counselor and an individual seeking treatment. The purpose of therapy is to connect people with their ability to make changes needed to overcome the personal struggles; concerns and challenges they have been dealing with. This is achieved through developing insight and understanding into their distress, learning ways to cope, challenging false narratives, enhancing self-esteem and building confidence.
In a safe space, the therapist and client focus on goals, build a trusting rapport, and work together to effectively address the client’s presenting issue and attain relief. The therapist/counselor will help a client explore and identify their feelings, work through life challenges, identify aspects of themselves and their lives that they wish to improve, and set achievable goals to help them work towards these changes. It is effective for a variety of emotional difficulties and mental illnesses. These might include:
- Loss of motivation
- Job Stress or Loss
- Feeling “Lost”
- Feeling “Stuck”
- Relationship struggles
- Low self-esteem
- Life Changes
Challenges may also include difficulty concentrating, a lack of motivation, spiritual confusion, sleep and appetite changes, fatigue, rage, resentment, irritability, anxiousness, hopelessness, restlessness, being socially withdrawn, intrusive thoughts or relentless worry and loss of interest in the world around you.
Individual therapy can provide these kinds of benefits and more:
- Gaining a better understanding of yourself
- Learning how to handle difficult or painful emotions
- Providing coping strategies
- Managing symptoms
- Identifying underlying causes of symptoms
- Facilitating lifestyle changes
- Adding to your support network
People in therapy learn skills for handling challenging situations, making better, healthier decisions, and attaining personal goals. Many find they enjoy the therapeutic quest of becoming more self-aware and self-fulfilled. Some people even utilize therapy as an aid to their journey of personal emotional and spiritual growth.
The amount of time spent in therapy depends on the needs of the client, how long-standing and deep-rooted their hardships are, and their personal goals. A client might see a therapist for several months , or the client may attend individual therapy sessions for a year or longer.
Is Individual Therapy for Me?
What Do I Need to Know?
The person in therapy can use their first two or three sessions to decide if the therapist’s style is a good fit for their needs. Finding a therapist or counselor you are comfortable with is vital to success. It is important to talk about your therapist’s approach, the type(s) of therapy to be used, treatment goals, session length, limits to confidentiality and any other concerns. Evaluating your connection with your therapist will take some time as it is a new relationship and you may be sharing sensitive information that is uncomfortable to talk about.
Initial sessions of therapy focus on information gathering. A therapist inquires about past physical, mental, and emotional health, together with the challenges and concerns the client would like to address. It can take a few sessions for a therapist to have a good understanding of the situation. A thorough understanding of a person and what they are facing will ensure the most effective course of action in addressing their concerns.
Generally, in therapy, the client does most of the talking and the therapist operates as a nurturing guide and teacher as you draw connections and learn how to heal yourself. Therapy can be emotionally challenging, at times because in some cases, difficult, painful, and intense feelings are being given the space to be expressed. The client might feel a whole array of emotions such as anger, sadness, guilt, shame, sorrow, or other buried feelings. However, the therapist is there to help the client to successfully work through and process these feelings, allowing them (emotions) the space to be acknowledged, leading to a deeper understanding and the development of new responses to those familiar feelings. This helps the client learn how to build confidence in their ability to handle their emotions in a healthier, more effective way. Over time, the client becomes hopeful, more comfortable with therapy and with their feelings.
The client’s determination to be an active participant in therapy and desire to heal is essential for meeting therapeutic goals and fostering a positive therapeutic relationship. During therapy, a client will be processing a lot and learning a lot. It is the client’s choice whether take what they’ve learned and apply it outside of the therapy space and into their daily life. Consistency and effort in this way will determine the degree of relief and level of success that is achieved. Your therapist will design treatment in a way that feels doable and accessible to you. However, some clients are initially unsure about their goals or the exact nature of the issues they want to work on. The therapist will work with the client to clarify their personal goals and to help discover the root of the concerns currently challenge them.
At Awakened Path, we are excited for you to live a better life! We believe that with the right tools, everyone can become their own healer. Our mission is to help you reconnect with the power that will lead to the best version of yourself.
Our approach is holistic which integrates both Transpersonal & Traditional Psychotherapy, incorporating many aspects of the human experience including emotional, cognitive, physical and spiritual needs. It emphasizes the importance of establishing equilibrium within individuals, viewing the person as a whole made up of all these parts, working in concert with one another. You will discover, create, and expand on your inner strengths, resources and consciousness to reach the deepest level of healing possible.
Transpersonal Therapy incorporates elements from different traditions of healing including breath therapy, meditation, dream work, guided, visualization, music, journaling, mindfulness, practices and nutrition among other techniques.
Traditional Psychotherapy includes neuroscience, psychoanalytic/psychodynamic, cognitive/behavioral, developmental, educational, family systems and humanistic therapies that utilize a strength perspective to match the individual needs of the client.
Our model is empowerment based in that we help clients identify their strengths, and locate their own source of power to heal and transform their lives. Our philosophy differs from other therapy practices in that we have moved away from the traditional disease-centered model where diagnoses and medication are the cornerstones of treatment.
Some find relief in a diagnosis; claiming it allows them to understand the patterns they have been experiencing in their lives. While we acknowledge this can be helpful at times, we have often found such diagnosis labels also reinforce a belief system which inhibits clients from believing they have the power to make drastic changes and that life can be vastly different. We find a focus on maximizing a person’s strengths, and an active deconstruction of limiting beliefs has been exponentially more effective in helping clients overcome some of the most deep seeded challenges. Our therapists, anchored in their knowledge of neuroscience, teach clients the power of imagery and visualization in accessing an infinite potential of realities they can bring to life. Tying ourselves to a label of any kind diminishes our ability to see past the confines of its description, thus limiting the visualization and confining us to the reality we know. The ability to imagine living differently is what empowers us to break out of this self-imposed confinement making the changes necessary to create a better life.
Our holistic approach allows us to turn our focus toward understanding the root cause and the life circumstances associated with diminished mental health. Connection with inner-strength and empowerment are the driving vision as we guide you in your efforts toward your natural state of wellness.
Here at Awakened Path, we use evidence-based treatments which means they have been subject to research studies and clinical observations to test their effectiveness. Our approach is not limited solely to talk therapy. We also incorporate meditation, breathwork, education about neuroscience, nutrition and the relationship between the heart, mind and digestive processes. Our goal is to help people connect with the power that already exists within each human to heal. Treatment is tailored to the individual based on what is effective for them.
Regarding psychiatric medication, our philosophy is that while for some people it is essential and helpful, medications are often over-prescribed, resulting in long-term dependency or physiological and neurological consequences. Unfortunately, in many cases medication may serve as a numbing agent, inhibiting the client from identifying the root causes (e.g.deep-lying feelings, repressed memories and unresolved conflicts) of dysfunction in their life. We welcome all clients and will advise any client who is actively taking psychiatric medication be under the care of a Psychiatrist or Psychiatric nurse practitioner- mental health professionals who are specialized in medication management.
We focus on holistic health as it is the most effective way to make long-term changes and improved quality of life. The brain is an organ that determines how we experience the world. If our bodies do not have what they need for optimal functioning, i.e. proper nutrition and cleansing of toxins, our brain feels this too, resulting in a compromised life experience and decreased level of functioning. We incorporate all of this.