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Journey to a Healthy Future

What to Expect in Individual Therapy

a person discusses individual therapy expectations with a therapist

How does one measure individual therapy expectations? For those who have never attended, the idea of therapy can seem a bit scary. This is for many reasons, but often, people avoid therapy for the same reason they avoid the doctor’s office. No one wants to find out that they are sick. But that is entirely the wrong mentality to have. Many expectations surrounding therapy today stem from bits and pieces of information that have dribbled from giant Hollywood blockbusters. But these representations obscure the function of therapy and its goals, which are, coincidentally, the same—to improve mental health.

Now, “improving mental health” can mean many different things to a lot of different people, but broadly speaking, to improve one’s mental health is to improve and facilitate emotional regulation that is balanced and fortified with viable coping mechanisms. But not everyone can do this independently, and there is no shame in asking for help. Life has always provided its fair share of struggles. This and the struggles we often create for ourselves can turn daily life into an impossible task. For those struggling with their mental health, therapy is a wonderful option and is provided at our Kennet Square, Pennsylvania individual therapy center at New Horizons Recovery. But before starting therapy, one should consider their expectations.

What Is Individual Therapy Treatment?

Individual therapy describes a form of treatment between a therapist and a single therapist. This therapist will likely specialize in one or more areas of mental health and utilize methods developed directly from the academic study of that subject. Some therapists specialize in trauma, others in grief, and others prefer more well-rounded methods that analyze thought patterns, behavioral trends, and emotional triggers. Before starting therapy, patients often complete a questionnaire about their medical history, mental health history, and general mood. This gives therapists a more thorough understanding of the patient prior to their first meeting, ultimately aiding the development of a treatment plan.

While the benefits of therapy might not be immediate, they are abundant. Changing thought patterns and unlearning trauma can take time, but with dedication and commitment, patients can improve their communication skills, their abilities to resolve conflict, learn how to understand and handle their emotions, provide coping strategies, and ultimately, gain a better understanding of themselves.

What to Expect in Individual Therapy

When setting individual therapy expectations, one must be mindful of their goals and aspirations regarding their mental health, as these goals will likely dictate much of the content covered in a single session. There are many possibilities in terms of what to expect during a session. Therapy may include:

  • Exercises in problem-solving
  • Defying and analyzing strengths and weaknesses
  • Changing harmful behavioral patterns
  • Learning to better express thoughts, feelings, and emotions
  • Activities involving coping strategies

The contents of each session depend highly on the nature of the patient and the treatment their therapist believes is best. When setting long-term expectations for therapy, one must identify issues negatively impacting their mental health and then visualize what life might be like without said issues. This not only highlights personal goals but also provides motivation for patients as they make their way through treatment.

Find Individual Therapy in Pennsylvania at New Horizons Recovery

Setting individual therapy expectations is part of the journey of improving mental health. One must walk a line between being hopeful and realistic while keeping themselves motivated and engaged. At New Horizons Recovery, we understand how thin a tightrope can be. That is why we took the time to build a staff of dedicated, passionate, and experienced mental health professionals so that our patients may receive the best care possible. For more information on setting individual therapy expectations or to schedule an appointment, contact us today at 267.435.3134.