Individual therapy involves a therapist working one-on-one with a patient to work through personal issues and challenges. In fact, it’s one of the primary elements of a comprehensive treatment plan for addressing addiction or mental health disorders. Patients engaged in a round of individual therapy attend sessions at least weekly. Most sessions last between one and two hours. To get the most out of individual therapy, it’s worth doing some preparation in advance of your first session.
What is Individual Therapy?
People in individual therapy attend regular sessions with a therapist to help them process emotional and psychological barriers to their healing or recovery. Sessions explore a range of topics. These include patterns of thought and behavior, problem-solving, conflict resolution, coping mechanisms for stress, and emotions. Individual therapy may last for just a month or extend to a longer period of time that may last as much as a year or more.
Individual therapy is a proven intervention for mental, emotional, and behavioral issues. Addiction treatment providers like San Antonio Recovery Center often put individual therapy at the center of customized treatment plans due to its many benefits. The benefits of individual therapy include:
- Identification of root causes behind an addiction or mental health disorder
- Positive lifestyle changes
- Emotional stability
- Symptom management
- Improved relationships with family and friends
- A better understanding of yourself and the world around you
The better your achievements in these areas, the more likely you’ll be able to live the life you want, free from addiction treatment or mental health issues.
6 Ways to Prepare for Individual Therapy
Going in blind to your first individual therapy session isn’t the best approach. It’s better to know what to expect in therapy. There are many things you can do when preparing for individual therapy that ensure you will make the most of your time with a medical professional. Many people also feel anxious in advance of their first therapy session. Building a game plan helps alleviate any nerves you may feel. Explore five tips regarding individual therapy preparation below:
1. Set Goals
Setting goals is vital to getting the most out of individual therapy. Having something to work toward helps you see progress. It’s OK to change your goals over time, but that isn’t an excuse to start individual therapy without an idea of what you are trying to achieve. Whether your goal is long-term sobriety, symptom reduction, or healing broken relationships, be clear about it and share it with your therapist.
2. Be Open and Honest
Individual therapy can be a difficult process, but it can also be rewarding. Being open and honest about your feelings, experiences, and thoughts is key to building trust in the therapeutic relationship. Holding back information or avoiding certain topics with your therapist can hold you back from achieving your desired outcome.
3. Ask Questions
Most of the time during individual therapy sessions is reserved for you to talk and discuss. Frequently, the therapist is asking the majority of the questions. Yet it doesn’t mean you can’t also ask questions. Doing so is often a key way to grow and have your perspective challenged in a healthy, safe environment.
4. Don’t Fear Being Vulnerable
Vulnerability is key to making progress toward your goals throughout individual therapy. The role of the therapist is not to judge what you share. Rather, they are there to listen, engage, and offer insight. Be open, honest, and transparent. The more willing you are to share, the more productive therapy sessions will be.
5. Give Yourself Grace
A key part of individual therapy preparation is getting your self-perception in order. Give yourself grace and allow yourself to be less than perfect. Sharing the worst parts of yourself is intimidating. But individual therapy is designed for your growth and recovery. Avoid beating yourself up about what led you to needing therapy and instead embrace the opportunity to heal.
6. Embrace the Process
Another aspect of preparing for individual therapy is reminding yourself that change takes time. One therapy session will not produce the results you need or deserve. The amount of time that individual therapy requires to realize deep impact looks different for each person. As a result, you should embrace the process and make continual learning and growth your new habit.
Access Individual Therapy at San Antonio Recovery Center
Overall, individual therapy preparation is key for making the most of your time with a mental health professional. When you are informed and ready to engage in therapy, the benefits will be much greater. Take the above tips into consideration when preparing for your individual therapy sessions. Doing so will ensure that you get the help you need and deserve.
San Antonio Recovery Center incorporates individual therapy throughout our addiction and mental health treatment services. Decades of experience and research point to just how effective individual therapy is in treating a wide spectrum of issues. Therefore, take advantage of what individual therapy has to offer by calling 866.957.7885.