Often referred to as “psychotherapy” or “counseling,” individual therapy is a method through which clients work one-on-one with a trained professional in a safe and caring environment in order to discover their feelings, opinions, or behaviors, work through difficult or critical memories, concentrate on aspects of their lives that they would like to change, better understand themselves and others, set personal goals, and work toward desired change. Individual therapy is based on the principle that speaking and listening can alleviate human psychological suffering.
Clients pursue individual therapy for many different reasons, from coping with childhood trauma or major life changes, to dealing with depression or anxiety, to simply yearning for personal growth. A client may begin individual therapy for as little as five or six sessions or for several years, depending on specific needs and personal goals for therapy. There are many different treatment styles in individual therapy including
psychoanalysis and cognitive-behavioral therapy.