Mental health issues are complex matters that often require a number of different approaches to deal with. Although there are many therapeutic methods used in mental health treatment, it should be noted that therapy mostly only works if it is suited for the patient. This is one of the reasons why individual therapy sessions are one of the most preferred treatments, as many find it to be quite effective.
What is Individual Therapy for Mental Health?
Individual therapy is a form of psychotherapy where a trained professional helps patients work through personal issues they might be struggling with. This form of therapy has proven to be an effective treatment for a variety of emotional concerns, personality problems, and mental conditions.
Individual psychotherapy is also seen as an effective treatment for a range of conditions from mild emotional conflicts to severe psychopathologies. It is also seen as ideal for people facing marital difficulties, depression, and various forms of anxiety issues.
Based on how it is typically described, which is made up of talk psychotherapy, many would think that individual therapy is relatively simple. The truth of it is that the practice involves a multitude of factors and situations which could all affect the outcome. The immense variables that this therapeutic form could be used to deal with makes it highly ideal as a treatment strategy and rehabilitative measure for people from all walks of life.
What Could be Expected from an Individual Therapy Session?
Individual therapy is all about discovery. It is an exercise in learning more about the self that the person could have been hiding deep inside, and as such, expectations about it could be immensely varied. There are, however, some expectations that are more common amongst those who do go through the process, including:
Opening up and discussing very private matters could never be done in the presence of many people. This kind of exercise only works best when the patient feels safe about revealing intimate details and possibly feeling vulnerable because of it.
In most settings, and when the patient requests it, the information shared between a therapist and the patient is confidential. It is this level of security that helps a person open up and discuss details that they would not normally talk about with anyone else. In many instances, the security is much similar to how information is protected between a lawyer and a client.
In many instances, a person who needs to discuss something could not do so because of a great fear of judgment. Regardless if the detail is something that would elicit that kind of reaction in others, many people who speak to therapists do so because the therapist is not someone who would render judgment no matter what the patient might say.
This is why therapists who engage patients in a one-on-one session make a practice of being very good listeners and ensure that the patient does not feel any judgment at all, from body language to the speech patterns that the therapist uses.
In many instances, discussing very personal or private issues could put a patient on edge. The extreme discomfort or awkwardness of the situation could make the patient want the session to be as short as possible, which is why therapists are trained to keep the discussion on the necessary focus.
While the patient might want to ramble on about different things, there is always the possibility of the discussion going on to a topic that has no relevance to what is needed for the therapy to work. While therapists might tell patients that they could talk about anything they like, they are skilled in honing into something that the patient might indicate, even unconsciously, as being highly relevant to their issues.
Any kind of talk therapy will only work when the talk is honest. This is the foundation of all revelations or breakthroughs that happen during therapy sessions. In therapy sessions, the point of honesty is not so much the patient telling a lie, but more in omitting certain truths that could be vital to the issue.
The need for absolute honesty is specifically why sessions are completely private and devoid of any kind of judgment. A person who feels threatened by a lack of security or feels that they would be judged harshly and unfairly when they admit to something will definitely not say anything at all.
There are some revelations during therapy that could require a certain amount of assurance from the therapist. This is because the opening of old wounds is quite a common occurrence during individual therapy sessions. In other instances, some admissions will make a patient feel immensely vulnerable, as people who engage in honesty also drop their defensive walls.
Therapists make a point of giving patients the right amount of assurance in a manner that would not sound condescending or overbearing, as patients tend to feel quite sensitive when they open up about their issues.
What are the Benefits of Individual Therapy?
Individual therapy is used to deal with a wide array of concerns ranging from substance abuse disorders to mental health issues specifically because of the numerous benefits that are derived from it.
Therapy is all about effective communication. There is a need to stress the effective part because there could be no revelation, discussion, or therapy if the troubles are not communicated properly, or if the therapist is not able to understand what the patient needs to hear.
A patient could become quite emotional while opening up, and this could affect how they communicate their feelings. Conversely, a patient who appears to be detached from what they are saying could also be quite confusing. Communication during therapy creates a bridge between the therapist and the patient, which also bridges the gap between issues and solutions.
Therapy is mostly only meant to last for a certain length of time. This is because the patient requiring therapy should be able to develop the skills needed to deal with their issues after some time.
One of the major takeaways of the therapeutic discussion is for the patient to learn some essential things relevant to their issue. In so doing, they gain a working understanding of it that could help them in dealing with it or at least cope with it in a better way.
There are many instances when denial could be significantly detrimental to a person. Someone suffering from trauma could be in denial that they are even when they are deeply affected by it. The same goes for people who have unexpressed grief, and many other unresolved issues.
Individual therapy is often used to help people achieve a good amount of self-discovery, which is particularly helpful when denial causes them to turn a blind eye to what might be causing their issues, or even the changes in them that might have been brought about by the issue.
Certain issues might keep a person from seeing things in a different way. This could be because they are avoiding it, or because they have something in their life that is preventing them from seeing what they need to see.
Talk psychotherapy could give a patient a different perspective on things because they have the benefit of talking to someone who is not blinded by issues affecting the patient. The therapist gives the perspective of someone “on the outside looking in”, as they could see certain things that the patient might not be able to see or understand.
Unlike treatment through medication, where prescription medication is used to treat a host of conditions, individual therapy sessions are intended to focus and address on the specific issues a patient is burdened with. Instead of treating it like a general condition that most others also have.
The personalized approach of individual therapy gives the patient a sense of care and value because they are addressed as a unique individual whose personal issues are being dealt with directly. Instead of not being written off as just another patient who gets the same treatment as everyone else.
Some might think that there really is no need to keep what goes in therapy confidential since it is all about getting well and becoming a better person. The reality of it, however, is that many still fear the stigma that goes with anyone receiving therapy, as there is “something wrong” with them.
The confidentiality that goes with therapy spares people from having to be judged by those around them for seeking therapy. Apart from that, patients are assured that everything discussed is private so that they would be more willing to open up and talk about what the issue is all about.
While people in therapy are expected to get better at some point, they are not expected to get better at the same time or sooner than expected. Therapy is not a race, and rushing things could very well make everything much worse than when the patient started out with treatment.
Each person could have their own pace of processing their issues and emotions. The important thing to remember here is that the therapy needs to be thorough, not speedy. A rushed treatment could very well be a botched treatment, and this could lead to even more problems moving forward.
Many people lament that most of the choices they make are often the wrong choices, and it leads to even more problems for them. In most cases, this is because they barely understand what is going on, and if they had a better understanding of what was going on, they might have made a better decision.
This is why one of the benefits of individual counseling is a deeper understanding of things. Whether it be an understanding of how trauma is influencing bad choices, or how anxiety is causing the person to become increasingly anti-social. A deeper understanding of things could go a long way in helping a person.
Let Adler Health Help You with the Right Mental Health Treatment
Any kind of treatment or recovery begins with understanding what is going on. There is a need to address the potential source of the problem, and there is no better way to do this than by talking about it. Here at Adler Health, communication goes hand-in-hand with understanding. When the important things are communicated properly, then finding a solution becomes easier and faster. Talk to us now.