Individual Counseling is primarily a form of individual or group therapy sessions. In group therapy, a number of individuals who are facing similar problems gather to discuss problems and offer support. A variety of therapy modalities are available for individuals who are in professional treatment for addiction or mental health issues.
Individual counseling is therapy provided by a professional on a one-on-one basis. During individual counseling sessions, patients can tackle the specific issues that impact their lives in greater detail than would be possible in a group therapy setting. Many individuals find that one-on-one therapy is helpful for several reasons.
Individual Counseling: Greater Privacy
Individual counseling sessions offer a measure of privacy that can be helpful if individuals are dealing with issues of physical abuse, sexual abuse, trauma from combat or crime or other sensitive subjects. For some people, discussing these issues in front of a group would in itself be another trauma.
The ability to talk about these matters freely, knowing that only the counselor will know the details and that these exchanges will be kept confidential can be the best option for treatment for these individuals. Once patients are able to deal with past trauma and its emotional impact, they can then feel more confident in joining a group that is dealing with similar problems.1
More Time to Focus on Individual Issues
Individual Counseling sessions provide patients with the opportunity to spend as much time as they like on specific issues, some of which may be related to events in the past that need to be explored in greater detail. In these cases, a group session will not provide the right environment to explore these issues. One-on-one time with a counselor can help lead patients to a greater understanding of the complex issues that lead them to engage in substance abuse or other destructive activities.
A Space to Focus Completely on Yourself
In some cases, individuals have never been in counseling before and having the freedom to focus completely on their own needs, thoughts and behaviors may feel odd and uncomfortable. One-on-one sessions provide the time and therapeutic space to explore this task of getting to know themselves, their motivations and why they behave the way they do.
Many patients with substance abuse problems also experience mental health issues that must be addressed in order to ensure success in their addiction treatment.2 Individual counseling sessions provide the ability to get to the heart of these problems, so effective mental health treatment can begin. Once patients are comfortable with this exploration and understanding of themselves, they can then interact with others more easily in group sessions.
A professional treatment center can provide a variety of therapies for patients dealing with substance use disorders. In many cases, patients start with one-on-one therapy sessions to clarify deep personal issues, and then they go on to participate in group therapy sessions that provide social interaction to help them expand their understanding of their own behavior.