How Individual Therapy Works

How Does Individual Therapy Work?

There are many schools of thought surrounding the best “technique” or theoretical approach to use in individual therapy. There are fads in therapy just as there are in most other disciplines. When I approach working with an individual, I think first of the person and second about the technique because the former informs the latter. I don’t attempt to fit an individual to a technique, but rather I apply a technique to an individual. Usually there are several theories I’ll use when working with clients. Every individual is a unique combination of circumstances, characteristics, and personality, and my job is to try and determine the best therapeutic approach and set of tools to utilize.

There are several major theories I draw from for individual therapy. They all have something valuable to offer and my belief is they are most valuable when a therapist knows when, under what circumstances, and with whom to use them. These theories include, but are not limited to:

  • Client-Centered
  • Acceptance Commitment Therapy
  • Solution Focused
  • Narrative Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • The Existential model
  • Attachment theory
  • Strength-Based models

The goal of individual therapy is to enhance well-being and address specific emotional, psychological, or behavioral challenges of the client. Client goals are unique and specific to their own personality and circumstances. These may include strengthening coping skills, addressing family of origin issues, improving communication skills, addressing issues of grief or loss, tackling life transitions, promoting self-awareness and personal growth, changing unhealthy habits and patterns, enhancing self-confidence, improving relationships and more.

In addition to therapy sessions, I also offer homework for clients in between appointments. This could be in the form of reading, reflecting, experimenting with new behaviors, observing unhealthy behaviors more closely, or communication exercises. Again, the homework depends upon the individual, their situation, and their goals. Homework facilitates change since sessions are normally where insights occur but the time between sessions is where the application of insights take place and where growth really starts to show itself.

By drawing from a wide range of theoretical approaches and combining them with tailored homework exercises, my work with each client is informed by their specific situation, personality, aptitudes, and limitations. If my client ever feels I’m missing the mark, I want to know. My counseling is collaborative, and if I’m offering something that doesn’t feel right, I respect that and always want the opportunity to adjust and offer something more useful.

If you’re ready to begin individual therapy, call me at (619) 318-1901 or book an appointment online now.

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I offer individual counseling, couples therapy and premarital counseling. The issues I work with are diverse and range from problems arising from sudden circumstantial changes to long standing and complex struggles. My approach to counseling is varied since individual needs and circumstances inform the methods I use. I don’t approach any two people the same and personalize my methods for each situation and client. Click the button below to book a session and we can begin your journey to rediscovery.


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