Individual Counselling: One-On-One Talk Therapy
By: Richard Miller
Updated May 28, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Kristen Hardin
Humans are naturally social creatures, so talking and communicating with others is one of the primary methods we have for sifting through our thoughts. Unfortunately, we don't always feel comfortable talking to the people in our lives. When we're feeling overwhelmed, our emotions, worries, and stresses can seem like too much to unload on a friend or an acquaintance. That's where talk therapy can help--one-on-one therapy allows you to speak to someone in confidence. A professional counselor can respond to your concerns objectively, offer a comforting word, and give you sound advice to help you live a better life. Read on to learn how one-on-one talk therapy can support you.
Every day, millions of people seek the help of therapists for issues ranging from the mundane to the extreme, and one-on-one talk therapy is the most popular form of therapy. The widespread usage and popularity of this form of therapy means that the modern therapist has a vast array of methods and techniques to help you change the way you think and feel better.
Meeting with a therapist one-on-one allows the therapist to give you custom and specific attention that isn't possible in a group setting. While group settings have their merits, especially for people who need a community while they recover from some form of trauma or addiction, individual therapy can be optimized for almost any need. The therapist will generally set specific goals and objectives to guide you through treatment.
Depending on what you're looking for and why you're seeking counseling, you might have one session (though most people have at least five sessions), or you might attend weekly sessions for months or even years in some cases. It's completely dependent on your personal needs, your situation, and the efficacy of treatment.
Who can Benefit from Individual Counseling?
Individual counseling is tailored to the specific needs of the individual, which means it can be beneficial to almost anyone. An individual's current needs will dictate the treatment plan, though this could change over the course of therapy. Whether you're coping with grief or psychological trauma, handling depression or career dissatisfaction, or simply seeking to improve your general outlook, individual counseling can provide some form of healing. Along the way, the therapist will likely identify unhealthy behavioral patterns you may not even be aware of, so therapy can help you grow as a person, too.
Individual therapy is different than talking with a friend or family member. While loved ones can offer great advice, they're rarely objective and aren't trained to evaluate various elements of trauma and pain. In addition, unlike friends and family, a therapist is bound by a confidentiality agreement. This helps you feel safe, so you can build a trusting relationship with your therapist while you figure out who you are and what you want in your life. That's where real change happens. In fact, the effects of talk therapy are so profound that evidence suggests it can even affect the structure of the brain.
Common Methods For Finding One-On-One Talk Therapists
It's important to you find a therapist you feel comfortable with. That's why it's not uncommon for people to switch therapists a few times before landing on one they really like. In the beginning, give your therapist a chance and tell them clearly what you need. Then get to know them and their style. The more comfortable you are talking to your therapist, the more successful your sessions will be. That said, sometimes it's hard to even find someone because many people don't know where to begin the search. Below, you'll find three common methods for locating specialists.
Call a Local University or Large Clinic
A university or the receptionist at a large clinic can often refer you to specialists in your area. This is a solid place to start if you're looking for a list of names to consider and/or are new to an area.
Look For Insurance Plan Databases
There are many insurance plan providers who maintain easy-to-access databases. A quick search will provide you with a list of names based on location and specialty.
Get a Referral from Another Health Care Provider
One of the most effective ways to find help is to get referrals from other health providers, especially when you need someone with a specific area of expertise. Therefore, you may want to be evaluated by your primary care physician, so they can point you in the right direction.
Consider Online Therapy
BetterHelp is an easy and simple way to receive individual counseling online. On their platform, you'll be able to connect with a variety of counselors with diverse specialties. Plus, they offer many ways to communicate with your counselor from the comfort and privacy of your own home, including messaging, live chat, phone, and video sessions.
Each BetterHelp counselor is a licensed professional who can work with you on your own terms. You'll be able to receive customized and tailored sessions that can take place whenever you want, even on your commute to work. With this level of access, even people with the busiest of schedules can find the time to improve their outlook on life. Read below for some reviews of BetterHelp counselors from people experiencing a range of life's challenges.
"Gerry is an excellent therapist! He is easy to talk to and is extremely knowledgeable about many aspects of mental health. I never leave a session without learning something about myself and my behaviors. Gerry is truthful and asks questions that really get to the core of issues that impact my life. I highly recommend choosing Gerry Watson as your therapist!"
"In the short span of 9 months, Shonnie has become like one of my best friends. At first, I was skeptical of doing therapy since I'm very "psychologically healthy". A few challenges in my personal life lead me to try therapy for a month. Now I consider it an important part of my growth as a businessman and leader within my community. Thank you Shonnie for being so helpful during the recent difficulties; I am very lucky to have found you!"
Sometimes we just need to talk to someone who knows how to listen. Finding the right counselor, either through your own research or an online platform like BetterHelp, can have a huge impact on your life. A better outlook may only be a few calls away. Take the first step today.