Everything You Need to Know About Individual Psychotherapy
In recent years the relevance and popularity of individual psychotherapy and other talk therapies have grown immensely. However, psychotherapy is nothing new. It has been practiced in unique ways by cultures worldwide for hundreds of years.
In simple terms, psychotherapy refers to discussing one's personal mental and physical difficulties with another person, often a professional psychiatrist, psychologist, or licensed therapist. Individual psychotherapy can be used to treat a variety of different mental health disorders but can also be utilized more generally to improve the psychological well-being of an individual.
While more and more American's have begun to access mental health care, according to infographics released by the National Alliance of Mental Illness, there is an average delay of 11 years between the onset of mental illness symptoms to treatment. This means that many people suffer for decades before they consider getting help.
In the following article, we will discuss the use of psychotherapy and where to access it, in hopes of decreasing this disparity.
Why Individuals May Seek Psychotherapy
There are many different reasons people may choose to access psychotherapy. Every individual experiences life differently depending on factors, including age, gender, sex, race, sexuality, ability, disability, background, and economic status. While some groups of people are more susceptible to developing mental health disorders in their life, we all face our share of challenges and psychological difficulties.
Psychotherapy allows individuals a space to talk candidly about these difficulties and come to a better understanding of who they are and how they function. Attending therapy services with a professional has helped thousands of people address their concerns and inner turmoil in proactive and realistic ways and has put many on a path towards a more fruitful and fulfilling life.
While individual psychotherapy is often used to treat the symptoms of mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety, it is also used to discuss more situational difficulties that someone may be facing, including, but not limited to:
- Grief and or loss of a loved one
- Job loss and financial troubles
- Marriage issues such as infidelity
- Difficulty setting or achieving goals
- Break-ups and divorce
- And more
Accessing Individual Psychotherapy
Today, there are several different avenues to consider when it comes to accessing psychotherapy and similar resources.
Health Care System
If you are insured, accessing psychotherapy through your local hospital or doctor's office may be possible. While this avenue is streamlined with other health services, it can be difficult and expensive to access, depending on your unique insurance plan. It may also be challenging to book a regular meeting with a therapist, as they are often very busy caring for a large and needy population.
Private mental health clinics, like that of Doctor Robin Bryant, Ph.D. of New York City, are often a good option when seeking comprehensive talk therapy and related services. These clinics are usually furnished comfortably and allow for a more homely approach to talk therapy. While private counseling can be expensive, the benefits can be invaluable.
Unbeknown to some, community resource centers often offer talk therapy and counseling services at affordable rates and work to target the needs of marginalized communities. It is worth researching whether a resource center near you provides professional therapy services, especially if you are uninsured or within a lower income bracket.
The landscape of mental health care continues to evolve, and the creation of online mental health care resources is one of the most significant innovations we’ve seen. Individuals can now access a myriad of therapy services by phone, text message, and video chat.
While there are many high-quality online sources available, the validity of all online mental health care is not guaranteed, so it’s essential to do your research.
Individual vs. Group Therapy
While this article strives to focus on the practice and benefits of individual psychotherapy, it is also important to understand that this is not the only approach that is taken within the realm of talk therapy.
While individual therapy gives people the privacy and space to talk freely with one other individual about their personal emotions, traumas, experiences, and difficulties, some people may prefer to discuss these matters in a group setting.
Although talking about sensitive psychological challenges with a group of strangers may sound daunting, participating in a group setting takes the onus off the individual to discuss their own challenges, which can otherwise be quite taxing. Group therapy allows individuals to listen to and support the needs of those around them while learning from the unique experiences of others.
Group therapy can work to build a unique sense of community, which can be extremely beneficial, especially to those who may lack similar connections in their personal lives.
Individual Psychotherapy for Children
People of all ages can utilize individual psychotherapy. A parent may choose to have their child meet with a psychotherapist if the child has experienced trauma or if the child is showing early signs of mental illness. These signs may include uncontrollable anger, anxiety, or hyperactivity.
Children who have developmental disorders such as autism may also benefit from working with a counselor.
While children’s therapy may look similar to that of an adult – discussing feelings, emotions, and experiences—depending on the child’s age, approaches may include play therapy or parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT).
The Overarching Goal of Psychotherapy
As we have learned and discussed, psychotherapy is accessed by unique individuals to address a myriad of different challenges in various settings.
The overarching goal is to improve the mental well-being of an individual by creating an open dialogue about the feelings and emotions they are experiencing. In the long-run, psychotherapy can help people overcome personal strife and treat troublesome compulsions and behaviors while improving one’s ability to socialize and have meaningful relationships with themselves and others.
For more information about psychotherapy or to access professional services today, don’t hesitate to reach out to Dr. Robin Bryant, Ph.D. at (212) 721-8910.