Individual therapy is psychotherapy implemented by a trained professional to help a client work through a problem. The ways that individual therapy is implemented varies widely depending upon the psychological problem experienced by the client, the personal beliefs and practices of the therapist, and the individual needs of the client.

  • Forms of therapy may be indicated by the particular mental illness or psychological problem facing the client combined with the clinician’s experience of what has been most successful in treating.

  • A point to keep in mind is that the more you believe you can change and that therapy can make a difference, the more positive and successful your treatment will be. Additionally, your confidence and comfortability with your clinician are crucial.


Individual Therapy is helpful to many types of people with varying issues. Therapy can be beneficial for people suffering with:


  • Mental Health Disorders such as Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, and Bi-Polar Disorder

  • Loss and Trauma

  • Distress

  • Life-Changing Events

Self-care is a critical component of overall health and well-being. Often, however, people neglect or just forget to take care of their mental health. Individual therapy can help to address mental health well-being even if you feel fine.


The overall length of time taken for individual therapy varies widely. It really is a case-by-case basis. However, your therapist may recommend a particular amount of sessions depending on your progress.

  • The first session will usually involve you and your therapist “getting to know” one another.

  • Your clinician will ask questions about you and your past experiences, current situation, family, job, and friends. Your therapist will not push you to delve into private matters but does need to obtain enough information about your individual needs in order to determine a course of treatment or at the very least, a case conceptualization.

  • In some situations, the problem will be quite evident to both you and your therapist. However, in some cases, there may be an underlying issue you are not aware of (e.g. you may be depressed, anxious or angry without knowing why).

It is important for your clinician to assess the problem and decide the best plan of action. The first step is to determine what the problem is. Once you and your clinician have both developed an awareness of the situation, you can start to work together to determine why the problem is present.

Remember that, although your therapist may be directing the sessions, you are the one in control. If you feel that the therapy should take a different direction, discuss this with your therapist. He or she has selected a treatment path to best suit your needs, but will still be very responsive to any feedback that you have.

However, keep in mind that Illinois Healing Center clinicians are highly trained professionals that have a lot of experience in their field. By trusting that your clinician has your best intentions in mind, you will benefit more from the therapy.


One of the key ingredients of success in psychotherapy is the strength and stability of the relationship between the client and the therapist. Therefore it is very important that you are comfortable and happy with your therapist.

Therapists that are rigid, critical, and uninvolved are less effective. As you can imagine, talking to someone who you dislike and who seems to be judgmental will not do you much good. You will not want to attend sessions and you will be less likely to follow advice.

Qualities to look for in a therapist, and these are the same qualities we value at Illinois Healing Center,  include:

  • Warmth
  • Empathy
  • Patience
  • Genuineness
  • Honesty
  • The ability to be upfront yet caring at the same time

These qualities help the client achieve the important goal of self-efficacy. Clients that have self-efficacy are clients that believe in themselves, the therapy, and the therapist. When you trust that the therapy is helping, you are more likely to actively work on therapy goals and are therefore more likely to experience the benefits of the treatment.
One of the most important aspects of psychotherapy is communication. Obviously, when you meet a person for the first time it is very hard to tell whether or not you are going to be able to communicate effectively with them, but if you focus on the qualities listed above, you are likely to open up to them as the sessions continue.

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