individual treatment

What Happens During Individual Therapy?

In mental health, Recovery by Tree House Recovery

Individual therapy is one of the most effective and well-known approaches to substance use disorders and mental health concerns, allowing patients to explore issues in depth and learn how to manage their symptoms. Each therapist approaches clients differently, but individual therapy helps patients reconnect with themselves while focusing on solutions. Often, addiction can make it difficult to know what it means to be you. One-on-one therapy facilitates rediscovery so that patients understand not only themselves but their feelings, ideas and actions in a helpful way. When patients begin to acknowledge their thoughts and behaviors, they can begin to identify the harmful patterns that lie at the foundation of their addiction. Since no two individuals think, feel and act in the same way, one-on-one therapy is a personalized process that doesn’t follow a particular mold or approach; a technique that was successful for one patient may not be effective for another. The versatility of individual therapy makes it a valuable tool for addressing numerous concerns, including:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Anger issues and management
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Eating disorders such as binging, anorexia and bulimia
  • Substance use disorders
  • Other addictions such as gambling, sex and video games

At Tree House Recovery in Portland, Oregon, individual therapy is essential to our treatment programs. Our team of experienced counselors and therapists specialize in addiction recovery to help patients get the most out of each session, employing a variety of treatments and modalities to address a wide range of concerns. Although the structure of each individual therapy session will vary depending on the unique needs and goals of the patient, some common methods used include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and motivational interviewing (MI).

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is founded on the idea that behavior is learned and an individual’s thoughts, emotions and perceptions influence their actions. Patients learn to recognize and modify problematic behaviors associated with substance abuse so they can challenge any unhealthy thoughts and assumptions in a productive manner. CBT is a collaborative, structured process with each treatment session focusing on solution-oriented goals and activities. Evidence shows that the effort to help patients gain insight into their behavior is beneficial for treating a variety of conditions, including depression, PTSD, anxiety and substance use disorders.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

DBT is a support-oriented approach to individual therapy that focuses on helping a person identify and build on their strengths while learning healthy coping mechanisms. The four main components of DBT —  mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness — combine acceptance strategies with the goal-focused techniques of CBT. Patients will learn to acknowledge and understand their emotions and learn the coping skills to address them in a positive way. DBT helps patients concentrate on their recovery while being aware of the potential obstacles and accepting the need for change.

Motivational Interviewing (MI)

Individuals who arrive at treatment are often in various stages of readiness to change their behaviors. Motivational interviewing helps patients commit to recovery by encouraging them to overcome fear, doubt, and hesitation, discovering their own motivations for change and a desire to take action.

Individual Therapy at Tree House Recovery

At Tree House Recovery, your one-on-one therapy sessions provide the support, guidance, and structure you need to get your life back on track. One-on-one therapy sessions create a safe space in which clients can discuss their fears, challenges, hopes, and accomplishments without pressure or judgment. Your time spent in individual therapy will help you discover your motivation for living a life free of substance use and understand the factors that have influenced past behaviors. Although the techniques and modalities may differ from patient to patient, individual therapy will benefit you in several ways.

Identify Harmful Thoughts

Therapists and patients work to recognize and overcome the barriers that contribute to an individual’s substance use disorder. Distorted thoughts and perceptions, past trauma or grief, co-occurring disorders such as anxiety or depression, and unhealthy coping skills are all obstacles that individual therapy can address. This is a collaborative, goal-oriented approach designed to help patients learn to identify and respond to unhealthy thoughts, beliefs, and emotions that may undermine their recovery. Therapists provide an objective, nonjudgmental point-of-view that helps patients challenge their assumptions and change their behavior.

Set Treatment Goals

Individual therapy is a collaboration between patients and counselors that typically begins with a discovery session so your therapist can identify your expectations and motivations. This will help to form a treatment plan and set goals that resonate with your unique needs and experiences, such as:

  • Learn coping skills
  • Discover renewed motivation
  • Manage stress and emotions without drugs or alcohol
  • Relapse prevention
  • Self-awareness and mindfulness
  • Improve personal relationships and social interactions
  • Build problem-solving skills
  • Replace addiction with healthy habits and activities

Goal-setting will help you reflect on what is important to you and help make lofty, broad objectives (such as getting sober) more manageable. Each patient will have different goals, which your therapist will help you identify and break down into smaller pieces. At Tree House Recovery, we understand that goal-setting can help create momentum that moves you forward in recovery while building confidence and self-esteem.

Overcome Obstacles

Once a treatment plan has been established, and recovery goals have been identified, your therapist will help you analyze and work through the obstacles of productive change. The approaches may differ, but individual therapy will focus on supporting you as you work to develop positive behaviors and healthy habits. Many patients justify their substance use disorder and avoid confronting the reality of their addiction. Someone with addiction often believes that their substance use harms no one but themselves, that they will lose their friends if they get sober or that they need drugs or alcohol to make it through the day. Therapists challenge patients to reexamine these rationalizations and assumptions in a constructive way. Individual therapy can help patients recognize the role that addiction has played in their lives and move past the obstacles that hold them back from living a sober, healthy life.

Relapse Prevention

Many of the benefits of individual therapy will help you achieve sustainable, long-lasting sobriety. Goal-setting, mindfulness and healthy coping skills will help you as you progress through recovery and beyond. You’ll become part of a team of professionals and fellow patients dedicated to helping you achieve the happy, healthy life you deserve. Together, we’ll help you cultivate strategies in individual therapy for avoiding or dealing with the triggers, cravings, and pressures you may encounter that could jeopardize your recovery.

Treatment isn’t easy, but at Tree House Recovery in Portland, Oregon, our committed team of therapists and counselors will help you acquire the necessary skills for sustainable recovery. Our structured, supportive environment will tap into your unique strengths and needs to prepare you for an independent, sober life. If you or someone you care about is fighting a substance use disorder, contact or call us today (503) 850-2474 to find out more about our treatment programs. Embrace a new way of living at Tree House Recovery and learn what it means to be you, without drugs and alcohol.