Individual counselling is also known as therapy or psychotherapy. It allows an individual to explore personal issues in a safe and confidential environment with a counselling professional. Individual counselling is helpful for people who are going through life transitions or life difficulties which are outside of their usual experiences and may be difficult to cope with on their own.
Individual counselling can be helpful for those who are suffering from:
- Unmet potential
- Transitions (Divorce, separation, school, retirement, job loss, new parent)
- Abuse – physical, mental, verbal or sexual (historical or present)
- Traumatic memories
- Car accident and subsequent distress
- Grief and loss
- Career transition
The first time that you visit with your therapist you may feel uncomfortable or hesitant to share. It is not easy to open up to a stranger and it is important that you feel comfortable with your therapist. If, for whatever reason, you don’t feel that the therapist is ‘a good fit’ for you, you can ask to change therapists. Your comfort level is the most important thing to us. Exploration of your issues in a therapeutic relationship that is safe and trusting helps to achieve growth and change. We call this the ‘therapeutic relationship’. Together we will work out a plan that will most benefit you. This is called a ‘treatment plan’.
The Therapist works with you to reach your goals. Through exploration, asking thoughtful questions, skills development, education and the use of many therapeutic skills and strategies you will collaborate to achieve your goals.
Practicing new skills with your counsellor helps you to prepare for using them in the real world. When experimenting with new skills and strategies you will receive valuable feedback through your successes, failures and relapses. Finding the courage to try new skills will lead to growth and change.
What to expect from Therapy
The therapeutic hour is typically 50 minutes. Therapy can be short term (2- 6 sessions) or longer term (two or more months) depending on the issues to be explored. More complex issues will take longer. Usually appointments are booked weekly, however we are aware that sometimes financial obligations make it difficult to come as frequently and we work with you to make it work for you (see Payment Options).
When the individual feels that their goals have been met, and they are able to maintain new patterns of ‘being in the world’, therapy is complete. Many clients do, however, like to come back less frequently for ‘tune ups’ or when new difficulties or life transitions present themselves. Clients may return even years after not needing the services. It is always nice to see where clients take themselves in life.