“When someone else knows and cares, then we pay that much more attention to what we’re doing.” – T. H. Edwards

Individual counseling, also known as one-on-one counseling, is a place to feel safe and secure as you begin your recovery journey. Your therapist will most likely want to complete an assessment, which gives him or her a great deal of information in order to design a therapy plan unique to you. It contains a list of problems and a list of goals and strategies. Your counseling then focuses on helping you to complete the strategies and achieve the goals. Periodically, your counselor will review with you your progress and get your perspective on how things are developing.

Your counselor will likely want to meet with you every week or every two weeks for ongoing counseling.

These sessions are a place for you to talk about your life–what is good, what is a problem, what you want to change, how to change it, how your life got to be this way, and so on. This is also a time to learn how to be successful in recovery. You will learn new ways to cope, different ways to think, and strategies to be successful. Some people–although not all–experience intense emotion during some of their appointments. One reason for this is that many people are not used to really opening up to another person, and it can feel like a relief to finally have a place to talk, and to have an open-minded, non-judgmental counselor to provide help and solutions.

In long-term counseling, which many people in recovery require, some very deep healing work occurs.

Often, the focus falls on looking at primary caregivers (usually parents) and how they influenced us–both positively and negatively. The goal is not to blame, but to understand and heal. This can be a difficult phase of counseling, but is usually quite liberating.


Finally, it is important that you trust your therapist and feel a good rapport with him or her.

So it is very important to have the right counselor. Just like all human relationships, we feel more comfortable with some people than with others. Not every therapist is right for every patient. Because of this, it is important that you make sure it seems like a good fit, that it feels right to you.


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