Individual counseling addresses many different issues and takes several forms. Our counselors in Edwardsville and Maryville provide individual therapy to clients who are struggling with losses, having difficulty with painful emotions, trying to make changes in life, looking to create happiness, dealing with a mental illness, or trying to manage symptoms that are inhibiting life satisfaction.
Counseling for individual issues generally starts with assessment and goal setting. While assessment is generally ongoing in counseling, in the beginning, it is necessary for a counselor to get information about a person's goals, symptoms, background, significant life events, and many other aspects to a person's life. This assists the counselor in making a solid determination about what is going on, what the major issues that need to be addressed, where counseling should likely start, and how to work within a client's own values and framework. This also allows a client and therapist to discuss what a client is hoping to achieve with counseling so that they may be working towards getting to the same place. Initial assessment generally lasts for one to three sessions but varies depending on the person, goals, and situation. Since counseling at our office is customized and does not follow a rigid protocol, initial sessions can and does include other components like talking through immediate concerns that a client may be trying to address right away.
Once initial assessment is completed, individual therapy moves towards an action or treatment phase. Here the therapist works with the client to address the issues that were uncovered previously. This can involve identifying thought patterns that can be changed, learning new skills, processing events or information, and many other techniques. The action or treatment phase is generally the longest part of counseling. This phase is very flexible and is often guided by both the counselor and the client. As goals are added or changed, the focus of sessions can change.
As progress is made and goals are accomplished, therapy moves to a maintenance or conclusion phase. The frequency of therapy reduces so that a client can gradually live life with less and less therapist intervention. This helps the client feel confident that they will be successful once therapy ends and helps the therapist identify any lingering issues that should be addressed in the remaining time in counseling. Once therapy tapers to an infrequent basis and a person is happy with where they are with their goals, the therapist and client will generally conclude therapy. This is a collaborative process and doesn't mean that a client cannot return if necessary later in time. The conclusion of therapy simply means that the client has chosen not to schedule additional sessions for the future.
Individual counseling is one of the most common types of counseling and is effective dealing with diagnoses including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and PTSD. Individual counseling can also address relationship issues, stress management, anger, difficult decisions, family conflict, and many more concerns. Our counselors are located in Edwardsville and Maryville and provide therapy to the surrounding areas including Glen Carbon, Granite City, Alton, Troy, and Collinsville.