Individual therapy is the cornerstone of many therapeutic programs. As you strive to better understand these aspects of yourself that have shaped your decision-making processes, you will gain a powerful resource through sitting down one on one with a therapist. Your ability to navigate the complex world of recovery from addiction is dependent on exploring the patterns that outline past behaviors, experiences, and feelings.
However, while individual therapy is instrumental in overcoming your trials in recovery, sessions still have a limited time to them. Making the most of this time in individual therapy sessions or programs is essential in building a solid foundation on the path to recovery.
It’s Normal To Feel Uncomfortable
Individual therapy can be intimidating. The idea of exploring your history and emotions be challenging as you are asked to confront mistakes, guilt, shame, or traumatic memories. Even the ability to articulate specific emotions can be trying as well. This is not a skill that all people inherently possess, especially if you are in addiction recovery. As a result, being uncomfortable in these situations is completely normal.
However, that does not mean that you are better off isolating and wrapping yourself in a metaphoric blanket of familiar but painful complacency. In order to make the most of your time in individual therapy, it is essential to remind yourself that these feelings and barriers are expected. The people in your life helping you to explore these emotions and discomforts are sympathetic to the complexity of the situation.
Being honest about this discomfort, or voicing that you are not sure how to verbalize a response, express a thought, or respond to a guiding question is entirely normal. This is always a better option than trying to divert attention elsewhere as a defense mechanism.
Prepare Questions Ahead
Individual therapy is not ever an interrogation. While professionals will be asking questions about your past, thoughts, and emotions, there can be significant benefits from readily attending an individual therapy session with your own questions. Formulating your questions around addiction, mental health as a whole, or personal observations and situations can help you to feel prepared and alleviate anxiety.
Coming to individual therapy sessions with prepared questions helps to guide the conversation into something that is most important to you at that moment. This technique connects future therapeutic approaches and strategies while also acting as a testament to your progress, making each session able to address the unique nuance of what is being experienced in your journey.
You are not expected to understand everything about your life. If you are suffering from depression, you may not realize where depression begins and where a “normal” sadness ends. This is similar to how anxiety can toe these lines between rational and irrational fear. Asking yourself questions helps to individualize this time. Depending on the dialogue, this can also deepen your relationship and level of trust with your therapist as an equal, reframing recovery as a genuinely collaborative effort.
Be Open to Suggestions
Recovery from mental health disorders or addiction is never an easy path to walk. Even coping with the regular onslaught of stress can be incredibly difficult. While some suggestions for coping strategies may feel uncomfortable or mundane, it is important to keep an open mind during these sessions about their potential. Nothing about transforming your lifestyle and mindset will feel easy or natural, but committing to trying new ways of thinking or coping strategies can be transformative.
Likewise, even effective recovery strategies may not work right away. Continuing practice for a fair amount of time before discussing progress or lack of efficacy is essential for making the most genuine effort of your time in individual therapy.
Your Recovery Is Your Life
However, making the most of any individual session is only part of the equation. You must also ensure that recovery is taken just as seriously from the other side of the desk. Your time is valuable, and if a particular professional is not resonating or connecting with you, it is important to take the time to decide if searching for another clinician is best.
“Breaking up” with your therapist can be a difficult thing to do, but prioritizing mental health and recovery above all is of the utmost importance. It is important that if these relationships do not pan out in the way envisioned, it is important to find a new therapist before ending treatment with your current.
The ending of your relationship with this specific professional does not mark the end of your recovery journey. Recovery is always possible, and making the most of your time in individual therapy means knowing how to best utilize the time in any given session.
Individual therapy is the cornerstone of many recovery plans, and we at Avalon Malibu understand the importance of making the most of your time in individual sessions. Your time with use can be personalized to fit your unique needs and goals, with caring professionals ready to help you explore the unique nuance of your journey with mental health disorders or addiction in order to create an individualized approach to your own best future. We champion the idea that each individual can take the reigns on their own recovery, providing guidance, community, and multiple therapeutic outlets along the way. Yoga, meditation, mindfulness practices, art, music, writing, and much more are all available to you, all backed by an understanding community ready to help you explore your own transformation. For more information on how we can help you or speak to a caring, trained staff member about your unique situation, call us at (844) 857-5992.