a client listens while a therapist answers "What is Individual Therapy?"

What Is Individual Therapy?

a client listens while a therapist answers "What is Individual Therapy?"

Navigating the emotions, behaviors, and challenges life presents can often be easier with a guiding hand, particularly when facing substance use disorders. Individual therapy offers professional guidance in a personal setting designed to promote growth and understanding in recovery. So, what is individual therapy, and how can it be a beacon of hope when you’re living with addiction?

Contact QuickSilver Counseling Center at 888.477.8941 to learn more about our individual therapy program.

What Is Individual Therapy?

Individual therapy, often termed personal counseling or one-on-one counseling, is a collaborative process between a therapist and an individual. It is a therapeutic intervention where the primary focus is to foster change and improve the quality of life. It provides a structured and confidential environment for clients to discuss their feelings, thoughts, and behaviors, aiming to understand themselves better and address their unique challenges.

Whether it’s stress, anxiety, depression, relationship issues, or any other emotional or behavioral challenges, individual therapy offers a customized approach tailored to the specific needs of the person.

Understanding Addiction Therapy

Substance use disorders (SUDs) refer to complex health conditions wherein individuals cannot control their use of drugs, alcohol, or medications despite the negative impacts on their health and daily lives. One of the most effective ways to address this is through individual therapy. Unlike group therapy, where several individuals share their experiences and recovery journeys, individual therapy is a one-on-one session between the therapist and the client, diving deep into unique situations and needs.

Individual therapy offers several benefits and themes for addiction recovery, including:

  • Enhanced self-awareness
  • Coping skills development
  • Improvement in mental health
  • Strengthened relationships
  • Relapse prevention
  • Enhanced motivation
  • Addressing trauma

Therapy is not just a supplementary component but a cornerstone of effective substance use disorder treatment. It addresses the multifaceted nature of SUDs, ensuring that treatment is comprehensive, holistic, and tailored to the individual’s unique needs.

What to Expect in an Individual Therapy Session

Typically, therapy sessions take place in a calm, private environment where the client feels safe and secure. This could be a counselor’s office, a therapy room, or even a serene outdoor setting. The key is to offer an atmosphere free from distractions, judgment, or potential triggers.

Initial Assessment

The first session often begins with an assessment where the therapist gathers vital information about the client’s substance use history, their reasons for seeking help, and any underlying issues that might contribute to their addiction. This information forms the foundation of the treatment plan.

Building Trust and Establishing Goals

Trust is paramount in therapy. For therapy to work, the client needs to feel confident in their therapist’s skills and have faith in the process. Goals are set collaboratively. These might range from achieving sobriety to improving relationships or managing triggers.

Evidence-Based Approaches

Some of the most common techniques include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) – To help clients recognize and change negative thought patterns and behaviors linked to substance use
  • Motivational interviewing (MI) – To empower clients to tap into their own motivations for recovery
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) – Combines CBT with mindfulness strategies to manage emotions and decrease conflict

Other evidence-based methods may also be utilized depending on individual circumstances.

Homework Assignments

Therapy doesn’t end when the session is over. Often, therapists provide “homework” to reinforce the lessons learned. This can be anything from journaling about feelings to practicing stress-relieving techniques.

Regular Reviews and Adjustments

Progress isn’t always linear, especially with substance use disorders. Regular check-ins help adjust the therapy techniques based on the evolving needs of the client.

Duration and Frequency

The number of sessions a person needs can vary. Some might benefit from short-term therapy, while others require long-term support. Typically, sessions last about 50 minutes, but this can vary based on the therapist’s approach and the client’s needs.


A fundamental pillar of therapy is confidentiality. This ensures that whatever is shared in the therapy room stays there, fostering an environment where the client can be open and honest.

Individual therapy sessions for substance use disorders offer a lifeline for many. Whether you or a loved one is struggling with substance use, remember that seeking help is a sign of strength, and recovery is always possible. QuickSilver Counseling Center can help you find a better way forward.

Start Addiciton Therapy by Calling QuickSilver Counseling Center

QuickSilver Counseling Center stands as a beacon of hope for many. We pride ourselves on our compassionate and highly skilled therapists, who bring their extensive expertise to every session. Here, individual therapy isn’t just a service—it’s a journey toward self-discovery, growth, and holistic wellness. Contact us at 888.477.8941 today to learn more.