Let’s Take the Mystery Out of Individual Therapy!
If you have never been in individual therapy, take this quiz to see how you imagine it. Choose all the options below that fit with your idea of what it feels like to be sitting in the room with a psychologist:
- The doctor listens and barely says a word the entire session, while you struggle to think of things to talk about
- At the end of the session you feel like you vented about stuff but don’t know what benefit it has
- You do most of the listening because the doctor does most of the talking
- You feel like the doctor is really tracking what your saying because he interjects comments that make you feel like he is really nailing it when it comes to understanding what you are trying to say
- You know that the conversations are confidential and the resulting sense of safety makes you feel free to speak about anything and everything
- The doctor challenges the way you think about things by asking extremely insightful questions that open new perspectives for you
- You feel a sense of relief that your feelings are being sorted out and expressed.
- You are coming to understand yourself in way that is very empowering for making decisions
- You are learning practical steps, new skills, and communication tools that make you excited to grow and become more of who you really are
- The doctor seems to not only understand you, but also the significant people in your life. You feel like he really sees you in the context of your life.
Items 1 through 3 represent styles that I avoid like the plague. Items 4 through 10 are all reflected in the feedback I get from my clients. Individual therapy with me feels like a normal conversation that goes deeper and wider than anything you’ve experienced.
So what it is individual therapy and why is it so powerful for change?
Individual therapy is about being seen and heard on several levels.
It’s very powerful to have someone focus on you for most of an hour. Even best friends will have trouble doing that without relating things back to themselves. In individual therapy you are the focus!
But the feeling of being truly seen and heard goes way beyond someone giving you their full attention. The combination of my own life journey, my extensive training, and my years of experience allow me to see and hear you on multiple levels at once. For example, you may have lost sight of some of your strengths. I help you bring your strengths out of cold storage and put them to use in your current situation.
I also care. You pay me for my time, but you can’t pay me for my heart. I’m in this work because I care. Because I want you to experience the satisfaction of being truly yourself, I want to be truly who I am with you while we talk.
Individual therapy taps into your full potential.
Speaking of strengths, most people have “settled” for so much less in life than the potential they have. Individual therapy involves getting to know the rich, multi-faceted story that is your life. It’s finding those closets of the mind where you have tossed things because you didn’t know what to do with them.Some of the closets are so full that the hinges on the closet door are breaking.
I help you clean out the closets, laying everything out so you can see it. I help you break up the task of organizing the closet into manageable chunks, so that you are not needlessly overwhelmed.I help you decide on which things to let go of and discard, which things to keep, and which things to put to new use. In individual therapy you learn how to put it all back in an organized way, repair the hinges on the door and get on with your life.
Individual therapy (the way I do it) empowers you to overcome obstacles.
Individual therapy always involves overcoming one or more challenges. I have pretty good problem-solving skills. But I don’t try to solve the problem for you. I use what I know to empower you to be a better problem-solver in the sphere of emotions and relationships. This is an important aspect of emotional intelligence.
I don’t give you a fish. I teach you how to fish in your own pond. That way, the benefits of therapy will impact your life long after you stop meeting with me.
Individual therapy increases your self-awareness for better decisions.
Have you ever made a major decision that seemed “logical” at the time, but you deeply regretted later? How can that happen? It happens because we grow in self-awareness throughout our lives. And it happens because we are presented with life decisions that require more self-awareness than we have at the time.
But what is self-awareness? Self-awareness is having wisdom about the inner workings of
- Your deepest yearnings
- Your thought patterns
- Your subconscious fears
- Your hard life lessons learned
- Your emotional triggers
- Your strengths and weaknesses in relationships
- Your street smarts for getting along with people
The Magic of Individual Therapy
The magic of individual therapy happens when you start it for a particular issue (e.g., anxiety) and then discover that the changes you make benefit all sorts of different areas of you life. This happens because the current problem that want help with usually requires you to increase your self-awareness in a big way. Once you do that, this wisdom about yourself allows you to make much better decisions in all different areas of your life.
If you are wondering how individual therapy could work for you, then call me for a free consultation.