If you’re considering starting individual counseling for the first time, you may have some questions. It can be intimidating to think about taking the leap into therapy and everything that comes with it. It’s normal to be hesitant, scared, and even curious when you are considering starting therapy.
Individual counseling is more accessible than ever, making it easy to try a session from the comfort of your own home. Your first session will take just under an hour. It’ll be an opportunity for your therapist to get to know you and what brings you to therapy. The most important thing is to start the process with an open mind. Remember, your therapist is here to help you.
What Is Individual Counseling?
Individual counseling is a private, confidential experience, and you do not have to worry about anything that may come with talking in front of a group. It also comes down to preference; individual counseling would be the better option for you if you would rather work one on one.
It can be helpful for those who are not comfortable sharing with a larger group or are simply looking for a more personalized level of treatment. Your therapist will meet with you every session, and together you will work to reach your personal mental health goals. This process can be short or long-term, depending on your needs.
Many people gain a much deeper awareness of themselves and thought processes through individual therapy and go on to enjoy counseling long-term or ongoing, even if the issue that initially brought them there is now resolved.
Who Should Try Individual Counseling?
A common question is, who should try individual counseling? The answer is absolutely anyone struggling with something in their life or wants to go through an official diagnosis for a mental illness. This could be anything from depression and anxiety, substance abuse, relationship problems, parenting difficulties, career changes, and more. If you are struggling on your own to work through any type of issue, you can benefit greatly from individual counseling.
Even if you are struggling but cannot pinpoint exactly what form, counseling can help you identify what is disrupting your life and help get you back on track to a healthier mental status. If you have noticed that something is not quite right in your life, or you are just feeling off and can’t explain it, give individual counseling a try from home and see what it can do for you.
If there is anything holding you back, but you recognize that you are struggling, it is important to try to move past your fear to at least give individual counseling a chance.
What To Expect
When you first begin individual therapy, you will have to bring your therapist up to speed on your life. For this reason, the first session and maybe even the second one is really just all about gathering information. It is important to disclose as much as possible so that your counselor can see the big picture and best determine how the two of you should proceed. They may ask you about your family history, your friends, what brings you to therapy, to begin with, among other things.
After giving your therapist background information about yourself, they will gauge how to proceed with future therapy sessions.
You should consider if you feel comfortable with your therapist, if you seem to like their general style, and if you feel confident that they can address your needs properly. Sometimes it can take a few tries to find the best therapist that best suits you.
It is important not to get discouraged if you feel that the first therapist you met with is not a match for you. When considering if you want to continue with a specific therapist, you can feel free to address your concerns with them. It is not rude or wrong to feel like it is not working out. Try again with a different therapist instead of giving up on trying individual counseling.
Is It Worth It?
Now for the million-dollar question- does individual counseling work? The answer is a resounding yes. It absolutely does. Individual therapy works by helping to identify problems and finding solutions that can be incorporated into day-to-day life to make your struggles more manageable.
Depending on what you seek individual counseling for, your treatment plan and path to wellness will look different from person to person.
The idea for every session is to bring you one step closer to feeling relief or at least learning to manage your symptoms so you can start to live everyday life better. Regardless of the reason, counseling is completely worth it in that you do not have to go through it alone, whatever “it” may be.
It is important to recognize that not every session may feel as productive as others, and at times you may even stumble upon setbacks here and there, but it is all part of the process. People who go to therapy often experience fewer relapses in mental health issues. It can be more effective than just medications alone.
How It Works
Individual counseling works by talking extensively with your chosen therapist and working through problems. There are a variety of techniques therapists use to help you change behaviors, thought processes, or to generally process things that are troubling you. Therapists across the board use these special techniques, and many people have benefited from them.
One of the most effective and most popular techniques is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. CBT helps you to see the connection between your feelings and behaviors. With your therapist’s guidance, you will learn to replace old patterns reflective of that connection with new, healthier patterns. The focus of CBT is to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
Other common approaches are Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). It can help you cope with stress and improve how you handle emotions. Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) can help build relationship skills, acceptance, and commitment therapy (ACT) to build awareness of your thoughts and emotions. Lastly, psychodynamic therapy helps you understand how your unconscious experiences impact your behavior.
Your therapist may use one or more of these methods in your treatment plan. There is no one size fits all approach for everyone, and it is important that your therapist does what they feel is best for you. It may take some time, but these approaches can be life-changing when put into practice with patience and perseverance.
Sessions last around 50 minutes and are usually weekly. Emotions may be stirred during sessions that you have not felt in a while or maybe did not even know you were feeling. This is good and part of why your therapist encourages you to do most of the talking in sessions. To help carry what you are learning in therapy into the real world for you, your therapist may give you some type of homework. It is important to do your homework as it is another crucial part of the process, which will help you incorporate what you are working on into practice when you find yourself in a tough spot on your own outside of therapy sessions.
Where Can I Start?
Now that you know a bit about what individual counseling is and how it could help you, you’re probably wondering where to get started. Amazingly enough, you can get started right from your smartphone. Online therapy services have brought mental healthcare into reach for more people than it has ever been before.
That’s right; you do not even have to leave your house to improve your life. All you need is a stable internet connection and a device capable of holding a video call. Just head over to Mood, fill out the assessment, and schedule your first session today. Once it is time for your session, find a quiet and private space in your home or office to take the call, and that’s it! Just like that, in only 50 minutes per session, you’ll be working on your mental health and working towards a happier and healthier life.
Best of all, you do not have to worry about sacrificing the quality of your therapy sessions for convenience. Some online practices like Mood have an entire full-time staff that functions just like a physical office. Therapists, psychiatrists, and nurses are all fully qualified and licensed. Anyone who you speak with will be more than capable of helping you.
Online Counseling: First Steps
Individual counseling is excellent for anyone who may feel too shy for group counseling or wants one-on-one attention for their specific issues. It is a fantastic way to work with a professional to get through your long or short-term struggles and come out in a better place. Treatment plans will vary from person to person, so there is no set time on how long you may need to participate in individual counseling. Still, a plan created just for your goals is an incredible tool for recentering yourself and regaining happiness in life.
While it can be scary to take the first step and try individual counseling, it is vital to go ahead and do so. With various scientifically backed approaches and methods for helping your specific needs, you will have an abundance of coping resources made available to you by working with a trusted counselor. By not starting or delaying starting individual counseling, you are only increasing how long you have to struggle!
Online therapy services like Mood help bring individual counseling into the lives of so many people, helping people get to the root of their struggles one day at a time. If you want to take the first step towards bettering your mental health, take the step with Mood Health.