Individual Therapy

Individual therapy is a type of psychological treatment for helping people improve mental health symptoms or overcome other difficulties that affect their well-being.

What is Individual Therapy?

Individual therapy (also called counseling or psychotherapy) is a widely used and effective method for helping people work through problems that are interfering with their quality of life. Whether a person’s goal is to address emotional, cognitive (thinking), behavioral, relational, or social problems—or other concerns—individual therapy can make a positive difference for those who seek it out.

Therapy sessions involve an interactive process of self-discovery between the patient and a licensed mental health professional. Therapy takes place in a safe, caring, and confidential environment, either in an office or via telehealth conducted on a HIPAA compliant online platform. By virtue of their training and experience, therapists strive to objectively help patients work through the problems they are struggling with so they can move forward with their lives in healthier, more productive ways.

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Why Choose Amen Clinics for Individual Therapy

For more than three decades, Amen Clinics has specialized in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of mental health conditions. We understand the adverse impact brain dysfunction has on a person’s emotional well-being. We have found that psychotherapy can be more successful after brain imaging has been done because it can reveal underlying causes that are contributing to an individual’s symptoms. The brain scans help us pinpoint specific brain health issues that could be exacerbating symptoms or interfering with progress in therapy.

By optimizing brain health, patients are more likely to have greater motivation to make changes to the aspects of their life that no longer serve them or are contributing to their difficulties. We also know that for some people, stigma around mental health can be a deterrent to getting help. However, we have observed that when individuals see their own brain scans, they can more easily accept that their problems are medical, not moral shortcomings. This reduces any feelings of shame and helps them actively participate in individual therapy as part of their healing process.

What are the Benefits of Individual Therapy?

Everyone has problems on occasion, and one of the first strategies people often try is talking to their spouse/partner, friends, or family members about the issue. However, loved ones are not trained in how to help others overcome their emotional, cognitive, or behavioral issues. In addition, there are topics, experiences, symptoms, and other problems that feel very private—or even embarrassing—and individuals don’t want to share their troubling thoughts or feelings with anyone they know. But keeping the pain, discontent, or stress inside oneself can make matters worse. Fortunately, attending individual psychotherapy with a licensed mental health professional can make a significant difference.

Working with a therapist toward positive changes can help patients reduce symptoms and distress; improve self-control, awareness, and insight; develop healthier coping skills for managing stressors; and become more resilient when faced with challenges. At times, talking openly about problems can temporarily elicit uncomfortable feelings, thoughts, or memories, but with the help of the therapist these tend to diminish as the healing process progresses.

Most people find that the benefits of individual therapy far outweigh any temporary discomfort, and that an honest collaboration with a skilled psychotherapist makes them feel stronger, more empowered, and less burdened by the symptoms or problems that initially brought them to therapy.

Ready to learn more? Contact a care coordinator today!

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Who Can Benefit from Individual Therapy?

People of almost every age, race, ethnicity, and culture have attended individual therapy for a seemingly endless array of reasons. For some, it might be to address a mental health condition. For others, it could be the need for support and strategies to help them through a difficult time. Or, it could be for any number of other issues that are adversely affecting a person and their life. For example, individual therapy can help with a wide variety of problems, including:

Individual psychotherapy can also be helpful for people who are dealing with the emotional impact of a chronic illness, aging challenges, unemployment, major life changes, infertility, unresolved issues from the past, feeling stuck in some area(s) of their life, and other issues.


“With A Better Brain Comes A Better Life”

– Daniel G. Amen, M.D.


How Does Individual Therapy Work?

While there is some variability in the ways different psychotherapists work, the first session is usually focused on learning more about why an individual is seeking counseling. The therapist will review the intake paperwork and any assessments with the patient to gain an understanding of their history as well as ask additional questions about symptoms and areas of concern along with what the hopes and goals are for the outcome of their treatment.

Therapists are typically very compassionate people and will try to help patients feel comfortable about speaking openly, although it may take some time for a person to trust they will not be judged for their symptoms or problems. This is normal. It is important to understand that psychotherapists are ethically obligated to maintain confidentiality regarding the information shared in a therapy session. There are, however, some limitations to this which the therapist will tell you about at the first session, including:

  • A patient discloses their intent to hurt themselves or someone else.
  • The therapist has reasonable suspicion of abuse or neglect of a child or a dependent or incapacitated adult (therapists are mandated reporters).
  • If a patient is in a legal proceeding, the therapist’s records can be subpoenaed.

Once a trusting therapeutic alliance has developed, most people find that it is very liberating to be able to speak openly and honestly about the issues that have been troubling them. Therapists do not “fix” patients, directly tell them what to do, or force them to talk about things they are not ready to discuss.

Instead, they create a safe space so people can explore their thoughts, emotions, decisions, fears, and so on to gain insight and strength that leads to positive changes in their life. Individual psychotherapy sessions can be very powerful and healing, and this process is enhanced between sessions when people practice the skills and strategies they have learned.

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