What is individual counselling and how does it work?
How talking can help you manage and heal difficult and painful emotions.
Considering seeing a therapist? It can feel daunting, especially when you don’t understand what it’s “supposed” to look like, or why sitting in a room talking with another person somehow helps you make lasting changes.
In this blog, we will answer some commonly asked questions, such as: What is individual counselling? How can it help you? What is the difference between a counsellor and a psychotherapist? How do you get started? Hopefully these answers will help you feel comfortable to contact us to find out how we can help you overcome the challenges you are currently facing.
What is Individual counselling?
Individual counselling is a joint process where you, as a client, work one-on-one with a professionally trained Counsellor and Psychotherapist. Sessions are held in a safe, caring and confidential environment to help manage difficult and often painful emotions, invariably experienced during challenging times in your life. Individual counselling is also known as ‘therapy’, ‘Psychotherapy’, ‘talk therapy’ and ‘counselling’.
Individual counselling is the most popular type of counselling for people experiencing difficulties in their life or have a mental health concern. It can provide an opportunity to identify aspects of your life that you would like to change, better understand yourself and others, set personal goals, and work toward a desired change. As Galileo Galilei so aptly said, “We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves.”
What’s the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?
Counselling and Psychotherapy are both styles of therapy that help clients better understand their problem areas, including awareness and skills to make the desired changes in their lives. Although Counselling and Psychotherapy overlap considerably, there are also recognised differences.
What is Counselling?
Counselling generally focuses on specific problems, changes in life adaptation, and the promotion of mental health and well-being. It can vary from short-term to long-term, depending on your individual needs. A counsellor is more of an advisor, offering guidance and support, as you explore ways to better manage life and adapt to adversity or change.
What is Psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is holistic and root-cause focused, looking at your mental, emotional, relational or spiritual health. Collaboratively, you will create solutions to new, old, conscious or unconscious problems, providing greater clarity around your circumstances and patterns in your life. Psychotherapy supports a process of lasting change and personal growth (For more information check out the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia)
While a psychotherapist is qualified to provide counselling support, a counsellor may not possess the necessary training and skills to provide psychotherapy. That is why we are highly adaptive to your needs at Kylie Lepri Counselling, as we’re all qualified counsellors AND psychotherapists, with extensive and lengthy training in multiple psychotherapeutic modalities.
What can I expect at my first counselling appointment?
Introductions and establishing needs
The first appointment is a great opportunity to meet your therapist and get to know how they work and if you feel they are a good fit for you and your desired goals.
Your therapist will ask specific questions to understand why you’re seeking therapy. She may ask about your needs, issues, and what avenues you’ve already taken to address these concerns. Your history, health, relationships, and what you hope to get out of the therapy may also be covered. Your therapist will then be well equipped to understand how to best support you.
Remember, this is an opportunity for you to ask as many questions as possible to understand what’s involved and assess if they’re a good fit for you.
Book Subsequent Appointments
If you feel comfortable with your therapist and the recommended plan, you can arrange suitable appointments.
What style of therapy do you use?
All our therapists are professionally trained and highly skilled in many styles of therapy, as we believe not one size fits all when it comes to healing and change. This is one of the many benefits of working with a counsellor and psychotherapist, as we find what therapy specifically works for you and your needs. You can learn more about the various therapies each therapist is trained in on their profile pages.
What kind of issues do clients explore in counselling?
Individual counselling can help deal with many types of issues or areas of concern, for example:
- grief and loss
- low confidence/self-worth
- substance abuse
- marriage and relationship challenges
- parenting problems
- career changes or difficulties
- interpersonal problems
- stress reactions
When is the best time to seek counselling?
Early intervention is always the best option. Too often I hear people struggle with worries, anxieties and stressors for months and even years, which causes so much unhappiness and distress in their lives. This can often lead to more symptoms and feelings of loneliness and isolation.
If you’re struggling in any way, or finding it difficult to cope, counselling can provide an enormous relief by sharing those feelings and beginning to understand them in a way like never before.
Some clients seek therapy to improve their quality of life and grow personally. You don’t have to be struggling to attend therapy. Counselling is a great preventative to mental health issues and overall well being.
Think about why you service your car – the same applies to us as human beings. To function and run as efficiently, we need to look after ourselves. Counselling is a great platform to hold you accountable in making progress. Staying on task will support your growth towards a clearer way forward.
What are the benefits of Individual counselling and psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy and counselling can significantly improve a person’s quality of life. There are a number of advantages, here are a few:
- Identify unhelpful thinking patterns and self-destructive patterns of behaviour.
Therapists help you to identify harmful thoughts and behaviours and teach strategies to avoid or replace them.
2. Have healthier and happier relationships
Healthy interpersonal relationships are crucial to your mental health. Learning to constructively resolve conflicts, set healthy boundaries and improve communication will lead to happier relationships.
- Improve confidence and self-esteem
Self-awareness and taking responsibility for your thoughts and behaviours often leads to increased self-esteem and confidence.
Find out more benefits of Individual therapy here.
How frequently do I need counseling?
The best outcomes for therapy are possible when counselling appointments are scheduled and attended regularly. Some clients find enormous relief within a few sessions, while current research suggests it can take at least 3-4 months of psychotherapy to establish long-lasting changes.
Research also shows that if you experience positive change sooner rather than later, this is a good indicator of getting the results you want. For this reason, we track your progress closely and ask for your feedback.
Together, we can discuss how often you will attend based on your needs and schedule, which may be weekly, fortnightly or monthly. In our experience, the clients with the most positive outcomes from therapy attend sessions regularly.
Taking the first step on a path to improved mental health and wellbeing can be scary. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day – therapy will take time. Individual therapy allows you to take one small step in front of the next, at your own pace, in a safe environment and with your therapist there to support and guide you along the way. Take the steps towards a healthier mindset and happier life. You don’t need to suffer alone, reach out for a free chat today.
Do you need Counselling Support?
If you need counselling support, contact Kylie Lepri for a FREE 15-minute phone call to discuss your situation and find out how she can help. Call us now on 0404 032636 or book your free phone call online.
The team at Kylie Lepri Counselling are all registered Counsellors and Psychotherapists. Specialising in Individual, Relationship and Family therapy, providing support to clients all over Australia. Get Kylie’s FREE ebook: 5 Proven Strategies to help manage stress today, by joining her newsletter below.