Individual therapy is a form of therapy in which the client is treated on a one-on-one session with a professional therapist. It is usually time-limited and focuses on specific goals you want to accomplish or problems you want to solve. Often these goals will be broken down into smaller achievable objectives that may change from session to sessions.
The duration of the sessions can vary from short term to long term, lasting less than a year or lasting up to several years. However it all depends on your own desire to change or understand your problem. Therefore it is important that you are comfortable and happy with your therapist and that you feel that you are in a safe and supportive environment, as you are going to talk about difficult feelings, thoughts or experiences. The key to your recovery is communication, as by doing this you will be able to process what you have been through and gain a better understanding of yourself, situations or others.
With individual therapy you will also learn on how to deal with problems or issues within your life as your therapist will be helping you to identify coping mechanisms, develop problem-solving skills, rearrange your expectations and priorities, identify personal strengths and on how to focus on what is important.
Often children, like adults, can benefit from therapy as children can also be experiencing emotional and behavioral problems. Child therapy focuses on helping children achieve social and emotional wellbeing. As individual therapy it is also time-limited and it focuses on specific goals such as changes in behavior or in more general goals like increasing self-esteem.
Child therapy sessions are child centered and are focused on activities such as playing, drawing, building and pretending. Talking is also important; however some children cannot express what they are feeling or experiencing into words and are better at demonstrating these actions through play. By using different forms of activities the therapist develops a fun and comfortable relationship with the child in an environment that is free of outside rules and demands.
Child therapy helps children in a variety of ways. Apart from helping relief of symptoms, child therapy works on building self-esteem, improving communication, understanding feelings and problems, resolving conflicts with people, stimulating development and improving emotional vocabulary.
Play therapy is a technique that uses a wide variety of treatment methods, all of which include the use of play. Play can indicate how children are coping with their problems or concerns and it can show how much children understand about what is happening around them or within themselves. The natural play of children has long been acknowledged as a form of communication.
During play therapy children are given freedom to explore their feelings through their natural method of learning. By playing with specially selected materials such as drawings or buildings, children can play out their feelings, thoughts and concerns. Children can also learn about their own abilities, limitations, social rules and learn the difference between fantasy and reality.
Playing in a therapeutic environment is different from playing with siblings, friends, parents or other family members. Children play at their own pace with their own agenda and the session becomes a time for the child to experiment with change, learn about choice, self-responsibility and self-direction, improve social skills and resolve emotional difficulties and inner conflicts.
Parents’ feedback is an integral part of the play therapy process as parents can inform the therapist about changes at home. Play therapy has been found to be effective with children who are experiencing social, emotional, behavioral and learning problems such as anxiety, aggression, depression, ADHD, impulsivity, low self-esteem, social withdrawal and post-traumatic stress.
Adolescence is a time of change where children learn on how to make decisions and learn on how to embrace independence. Sometimes these changes of development can cause emotional, social and behavioral problems such as eating disorders and drugs and alcohol abuse. Adolescent therapy can be very useful in helping to understand and support the experiences of adolescence. Early intervention of effective services is likely to prevent the intensification of difficulties in adolescence.
The methods used in adolescent therapy are similar to those used in adults’ therapy. The goal is to create a secure trusted environment in which adolescents can express themselves fully in order to develop self-understanding and lasting changes in emotional, social development and behavior.
Communication is the basic tool for therapy, however adolescents can sometimes be more reluctant to talk, hence, more time and patience is adopted by both the therapist and parents for the therapy to be effective. There should be regularly scheduled consultations with parents to discuss progress and focus on their concerns about the adolescence.
Group therapy provides therapy treatment in a format where two or more clients meet simultaneously with a therapist to discuss similar issues. Sometimes group format is better suited for some people as group therapy offers participants the opportunity to interact with others in a safe, supportive environment. Participants can try out new behaviors, role play, and engage with others. By doing this they will not only receive valuable feedback and insight from other group members, but they will also provide support and direction for others struggling with similar issues that they are facing or have faced in the past.
The structure of group therapy can vary widely. As the group members begin to feel more comfortable a level of trust is established and group members will start to talk more freely and honestly. However it is important to keep in mind that group sessions are confidential and you are the one who determines how much you want to disclose in the group. You will not be forced to speak or tell you deepest thoughts.
People in group therapy improve not only from the interventions of the therapist, but also from observing the behavior of others in the group and receiving feedback from group members. Often people discover that they are not alone as they hear other people with similar problems to theirs. Group therapy can also improve your social skills and sometimes the process of seeing other people behavior helps a person to gain insight into his or her own problems.
Family therapy is a very active type of therapy done to help and support family members in improving communication and resolving conflicts. It assists the family in identifying conflicts and anxieties and helps the family develop strategies to resolve those issues and get through stressful times.
The treatment plan and the number of sessions required will depend on the family’s problems and the willingness of the members to participate in therapy. During the sessions the family and the therapist set mutual goals and discuss the length of time needed to achieve those goals. All family members or those most able to participate are not required to be present in all sessions.
By attending group therapy family members will learn on how families function in general and how they can use their individual strengths to help or handle conflicts and changes within the family.
Relationships tend to suffer the pressure and strains of everyday life. Being able to manage conflict, arguments in an understanding manner is the foundation to a good relationship. Couples counseling helps couples recognize and resolve conflicts by gaining better understanding of one another in order to improve their relationship.
During therapy couples will find themselves in a caring and supportive environment that will help them find a way through any difficulties or challenges that they may be facing. Couples that seek counseling to improve a troubled relationship may be dealing with issues such as communication problems, trust issues, stress, financial problems, sexual difficulties, parenting challenges, substance abuse, anger management and infidelity and divorce.
With couples counseling destructive patterns can be recognized and addressed, conflict and communication can be improved and new relationship skills can be learned. Couples can start to feel more confidence and less anxiety towards each other.
Trauma Therapy (TFCBT)
Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) is a psychosocial treatment designed to treat traumatic stress and associated behavioral and emotional problems in children and adolescents. The focus of this therapy is to help people who have suffered trauma from neglect, sexual, physical or emotional violence.
Children and adolescents that have survived trauma may experience emotional or behavioral symptoms such as depression, anxiety, or disruptive behaviors. They may start to have flashbacks, nightmares and start to avoid people or places that remind them of the event.
During therapy the children and adolescents are gradual exposed to the trauma by describing more and more details and feelings of what happened before, during and after. This can be highly effective to overcome their feelings and to fully address their safety needs so that the trauma can be behind them.
Anger is a natural adaptive response to experiences of hurt, injustice, fear and frustration. Anger triggers an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, provokes fast breathing and releases levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline. This physical response can lead to aggressive behavior, which allows us to defend ourselves if attacked. So feeling anger is not a problem, it’s what we do with that impulsive feeling that can lead to negative behavior that can damage relationships, work, and affect our overall mental and physical health.
Anger management therapy can help you unlearn these negative responses to anger and help you to express anger in a healthy, constructive way. Anger management therapy sessions can be done in group or one-to-one sessions, with your partner or other family members.
An anger management therapist can help you to learn what anger is, recognize early signs of anger, identify what triggers your anger, teach you to take the necessary steps to relax, stay calm and deal with situations in a controlled and positive way.
Social Skills Group
A Social Skills Group is designed to offer help to children and adolescents who are having difficulty with peer relationships, anxiety, depression and ADHD. The goal is to assist them in developing social skills by teaching different strategies such as active listening, conversation skills, social competence, self-esteem, understanding emotions and problem solving.
Children and adolescents develop these skills in sessions by role-playing, playing games, drawing, sharing experiences and by interacting in group. They are also encouraged to practice these new skills outside the session in order to promote social interaction with peers.
Children and adolescents will gain greater acceptance, make friends, strengthen their communication skills, behave more appropriately, reduce anxiety, increase their frustration tolerance, and develop more confidence so they succeed socially.