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Therapy Blog for Orem, American Fork, Spanish Fork & South Jordan
Counseling for Individuals
Counseling can be useful whether it is for just you or for you and your partner. Counseling for individuals is something that most people need in their life at some point or another. Whether you are experiencing anxiety, depression, addiction, trauma, work issues, anger, infidelity, marriage problems or other issues, individual counseling can help. There are no guarantees. However, not getting help will certainly get you more of what you are already experiencing – problems. Getting help gives you the chance that you can actually overcome issues.
Over the years, I have seen hundreds of couples, individuals and families in therapy. Let me share with you what I have learned from clients who are successful in counseling for individuals.
Therapy Can Work When You Do
First, individual counseling can only be effective when you put effort into it. You can have the best therapist in the world, but without your investment they can’t do you any good.
For example, I once met with an individual who was coming to therapy regularly, but would not open up, do homework or try new things in her life. She believed that her situation wasn’t ever going to change – and so it didn’t. And neither did she. Eventually, these types of clients stop coming to therapy and unfortunately believe that it can’t work.
So, work it! Go to counseling and actually put in an honest effort. It will be difficult, and can be worth it. Just like going to the gym, you have to break down your muscles to build them up stronger. Proper, consistent work in the gym gets you results – but not all at once. Counseling is the same way. Proper, consistent work in therapy will help you develop your emotional muscles. So, go get buff!
Stick With It
Second, you won’t be perfect and your progress in counseling is not exponential. Rather, it’s varied and comes and goes. Instead of getting discouraged, understand that it takes time. Know that consistent effort will yield results, but that at times you will back slide.
For example, let’s say you come into therapy for pornography problems. You will most likely have an experience of things getting worse before they get better. When you stop using pornography you start to feel your emotions. You are not numbing them, and so they show up. They are painful and uncomfortable. This is a point where you might think, “Why is this so hard? My life was better when I was using”. The problem with this is that part of the process of recovery is to start feeling your emotions again. Since you have been using pornography to numb them, your emotional muscles are weak. Using them at this point will be difficult, but necessary.
So, be kind to yourself and stick with it. Give yourself some slack for being human. You deserve it.
Your Problems Overlap
Third, understand that your problems overlap. If you come to counseling for depression, you might also need to work on the trauma you experienced years ago. This trauma could be impacting your mood today and causing depression.
Mental health is not so linear that all of your issues are separate. Rather, they are connected and overlapping. Understanding this will help you focus in the right areas as you put effort into therapy.
So, get ready to work on various issues as you work to get rid of your depression. It can be relieving to loosen up other problems that might be holding that depression in place in your life.
As a group of Utah marriage and family therapists, we actually do a lot of counseling for individuals. Half of the sessions we do are with individual clients.