Personalphilosophy is what one believes in. It is the values that onecherishes and would protect them at any given point in time. Mypersonal philosophy regarding individual therapy is that it shouldachieve the goals and objectives of both the patient and thetherapist. This could only be possible if the two parties play theirstipulated roles to the best of their ability. Individual therapyshould be conducted in an environment that is free of fear orintimidation of any kind. It should occur under quiet and relaxedconditions so that both the client and the therapist are providedwith the most favorable conditions of engagement (Oberst, &Stewart, 2003). The therapist should practice the highest level ofprofessionalism while the client or the patient should uphold theirmorals and behavioral obligations. The therapist should, therefore,adhere to all ethics as demanded by the profession. They shouldstrive at all times to ensure they put the interests if the client orthe patient before their own during therapy sessions. That would callfor the need to uphold and value confidentiality by safeguarding allpersonal information and records of the client. It also implies thatas a therapist one should endeavor to ensure they offer the best ofknowledge and skills for the benefit of the client. As a therapist,one should overcome personal prejudices that could clog efficiency orgoals of therapy sessions. The client, on the other hand, shouldmaintain courtesy and formality as they interact and share with thetherapists so that they exploit the sessions to the fullest on theirway to recovery. I arrived at the philosophy after discovering mypassion and determination to always offer my best in all I do. I amalso motivated by the need to achieve personal goals and those of myemployers/clients. I recognized the significance of being true toprofessional ethics and meeting the expectations of clients andemployers. I realize that clients deserve the best of services and,therefore, I should endeavor to provide that at all times. This paperaims to tackle individual counseling in its entirety. It delves intoall aspects of individual clients and therapists alike. It is anin-depth analysis of this kind of psychotherapy.
Theuses of individual counseling
Oneof the most common uses in individual counseling is to raise theself-esteem of the client. Often individuals are faced with difficultcircumstances in their lives which lead to self-doubt (Oberst, &Stewart, 2003). They are plunged into situations where they feelunworthy hence no longer value themselves. such clients requireindividual counseling so that they could be reassured that they havewhat it takes to overcome any difficulties .such individuals requirethe use of individual counseling so that they could overcome anyself-doubt and be able to engage productively in advancingthemselves in all aspects of lives.
Individualcounseling could also be used to instill self-confidence in theindividuals. Individuals have shortcomings, and therefore, they areunable to confront particular situations due to lack ofself-confidence. Therefore, they may need to seek the services of acounselor so that they could be treated to overcome the problem andhence be able to confront various situations in their lives. Someindividuals generally lack confidence depending on situations. Somepeople, for example, have the fear of speaking in public but couldovercome the fear and gain confidence through guidance andcounseling.
Whenindividuals are undergoing a depression, individual counseling couldbe useful in order to guide them as they chart a way to recovery. Dueto difficult situations that individuals could be experiencing suchas a death of a loved one, they could feel unable to shoulder theweight and hence the need for individual counseling. Losing of a jobor unemployment could plunge individuals into depression which couldrequire the use of individual counseling. A child could be depressedbecause of rejection and ridicule by peers at school and, therefore,require an opportunity for individual counseling.
Individualcounseling is also used on individuals who are mentally disturbed dueto being victims of exposure to unpleasant or painful experiences.For example individuals who have witnessed killings or murders couldsometimes be mentally disturbed necessitating the use of individualcounseling sessions with professional counselors (Oberst, &Stewart, 2003). Victims of rape are generally psychologicallydisturbed and require a use of individual counseling so that theycould overcome the disturbances and revert back to their normal self.
Individualcounseling is also used to help individuals achieve self-discoveries.Some individuals are uncertain about what they really want or whattheir potentials are. Such individuals may require counseling so theydiscover who they really are and hence be able to set personal goals.
Individualcounseling is also used to help couples with marriagemisunderstandings or going through a divorce. Such individuals needcounseling so that they are equipped with skills to empower them tocope with the difficult situation. They also require individualcounseling so that they could cope with inevitable divorces so thatthey don`t get into depression.
Teenagersundergoing identity crisis also could require the use individualcounseling. This would prepare them cope with the sensitive stage oftheir lives and equip them with other skills necessary to face thefuture. Individual counseling is used to make individuals focus ontheir more important goals in life and avoid distractions. Due touncertainties, individuals lose focus but that could be regainedafter undergoing individual counseling sessions. The sessions coulduse be used effectively to guide students who have problems indetermining career paths they would like to follow. Usually, this iscommon among the young adults and teenagers. However, withindividualized counseling, that is effectively achieved.
Generallyspeaking, individual counseling is used to equip individuals withknowledge and skills to make them cope and overcome difficultsituations that they could be experiencing in their lives.
Strengthsand limitations of individual counseling
Oneof the strengths of individual counseling is that secrecy andconfidentiality are highly guaranteed and maintained. This informedby the fact that only two people are involved and, therefore, chancesof gossip are minimized.
Thetherapist or the counselor also gets enough time to analyze and henceoffer the specific treatment to the problems a client isexperiencing. This is derived from the fact that the counselor hasgot no distractions from other quarters, something that may not berealized in group therapies. The therapist, therefore, has got allthe time to go through the problem deeply and, therefore, be in aposition to offer the required treatment. The environment allows thetherapist to focus on the problems of an individual which provides agood background for a better understanding. Since the therapist hasgot enough time to analyze the problems or issues of the individual,they are able to offer solutions in time. There is no time wastage atall which is beneficial to both the client and the therapist.
Dueto the fact that few people are involved, it is relatively easy tobook an appointment. None of the individuals require the permissionof other people before they arrange for meetings which save time.There is an exception if a minor is being counseled, but again thereis little consultation since the arrangements are done with the helpof parents. The fact that a trained professional individually handlesthe problem, they are able to offer the best of therapy to theindividuals. This could prove beneficial in the long run as knowledgeand skills shared could be applied by the individuals at some pointin future. Due to the individualized attention, the environmentprovides an opportunity to improve the communication skills duringthe sessions. Individual sessions, therefore, have considered in thepast to teach the best ways to deal with problems. This informed bythe fact that there is room to analyze the problem exhaustivelybefore prescribing treatment.
Howeverindividual counseling could be expensive as the individual has tofoot the bills alone, unlike in group counseling sessions. Sometimeshard to face the problem as individual as there are no otherexperiences that an individual can relate their problem too. In grouptherapy, the individuals have a wide range of experiences that couldenlighten them hence alleviate the psychological load faster (Brown &Lent, 2000). The individuals in counseling sessions are not motivatedenough and lack the necessary support in learning to cope with theirproblems. This is different from group therapy where individualssupport each as they recover from their predicaments.
Benefitsof individual counseling
Theindividuals who experience individual counseling sessions are able tochange their attitudes through the acquisition of knowledge andskills. They are therefore able to gain self-confidence through highself-esteem. This, in turn, is able to transform the individuals tomake them more productive in all their lines of endeavors. They areable to overcome depression and related mental ailments.
Theyare also more equipped to deal with addictive tendencies and drugabuses. They are also better prepared to handle relationship issuestan before
Individualsin individual therapies are also able to regain their responsibilityand self-control so that they are in charge of decisions that theymake in future. Feelings of helplessness are majorly eliminated.
Theindividuals are also able to confront their emotional and physicalfears and learn to handle similar situations wisely (Hartz, &Splain, 1997). They are no longer quick to anger and are able torelate well with people in their surroundings. The individuals in theindividual counseling sessions also become more organized and areable to cope with different situations without unnecessary stress.
Howcan individual counseling be Harmful?
Individualtherapies could be harmful and they could lead to an increase ofsymptoms exhibited by the individual. This could mainly be informedby unprofessional methods of treatment by the therapist.
Theindividual could also end up with higher levels of depression or evenstart acting out of their usual behavior as a result ofunprofessional treatment. They could become paranoid and generallyexhibit worse behaviors than ever before.
Theindividual who has undergone the experience could develop feelings ofbeing more intellectually advanced which could be detrimental totheir other efforts in future. The therapies could increase theirlevels of rationalization in all they do which could end up causingmore harm than good (Hartz, & Splain, 1997). Such individualscould identify with the therapist to the extent that they would liketo do only what therapists say. This would make them lose a sense ofdirection and could greatly hamper their reasoning.
Therelationship with the therapist could also become confusing anddisorient the individual. Due to harmful effects that an individualexperiences, they may be obliged to terminate sessions before time.Due to increased payments for treatments, the family of theindividuals could experience financial stresses which hamper theproper functioning of the families.
Importantelements needed to have a successful therapeutic relationship
Therapeuticrelationship determines the success or the failure of the therapy.Some of the elements necessary to have a successful relationshipinclude agreement (Brown & Lent, 2000). The client and thetherapist should agree on all the rules of engagement before sessionscould actually start. There should be an agreement on the goals andobjectives of the therapy sessions. That is dependent on the natureof the existing problem. The goals are well articulated and discussedexhaustively before they could embark on the sessions. They alsoagree on the tasks to be performed by each of the parties so thateverything is clear from the beginning.
Anotherimportant element needed to have a successful therapeuticrelationship is acceptance. The patient and the therapist shouldaccept each other`s position so that they are able to play theirroles effectively (Hartz, & Splain, 1997). There should also bean acceptance of the existence of the problem as that marks thebeginning of the therapy. They should both accept the situation as itis.
Thetherapist should have empathy which would make them understand betterwhat the individual could be going through or experiencing. Thiscreates an opportunity for the two to initiate therapies at samefooting.
Anotherimportant element is trust. Both the therapist and the individualshould trust that each would play their role effectively towards theachievement of goals set at the beginning of the session (Hartz, &Splain, 1997). The patient should trust that the therapist has thenecessary experience and expertise to guide those towards recovery.The therapist, on the other hand, should trust that the patient wouldtell the truth and present the entire scope of the problem. Thiswould provide them with a good chance to fully tackle the problem tothe best of their abilities.
Finally,the element of motivation is required for a successful therapeuticsession. The patient should be well motivated as they reveal theirproblems to the therapist. They should be confident that the outcomesof the sessions would be positive. On the other hand, the therapistshould be motivated by the need to treat patients and alleviate theirsuffering.
Responsibilitiesof the client and the therapist
Forindividual counseling therapies to be successful, both the client andthe therapist have responsibilities to play. The client has theresponsibility of footing all bills and expenses as agreed at theconsultation stage of the therapy. It is their responsibility to paywithin agreed deadlines so that counseling sessions are notdisrupted.
Theclient should be honest as they reveal the nature and scope of theirproblem to the therapist. They should ensure that they open upcompletely so that the therapist could, in turn, address the problemto the core.
Itis also the responsibilities of the clients to attend all sessions asscheduled. This would eradicate all inconveniences that could beinformed by failure to attend the sessions (Brown & Lent, 2000).It is also upon the client to complete any tasks or homeworkassignments as agreed or instructed by the therapist. This wouldensure that they focus on the program of the therapy which wouldensure that they remain true to set timelines.
Finallyit is the responsibility of the client to experiment the learnedskills or treatments without making hasty decisions. This would beonly that the skills would be useful.
Thetherapist on the other hand has the responsibility to adhere toprofessional ethics and standards set by professional bodies. Theyshould comply with rules and regulations that guide their practice sothat they disseminate their duties properly.
Itis also the responsibility of the therapist to safeguard the privacyof the client at all times. Confidential information related to thetherapies should not be revealed. This would win the confidence ofthe client which would make them more cooperative.
Thetherapists should also avoid any conflicting roles while interactingwith the clients. For example, they should not enter into businessarrangements or have an intimate and sexual relationship with theclients (Brown & Lent, 2000). This is likely to compromise theirposition and therefore, affect the outcomes of the therapies.
Itis the responsibilities of the therapist too, to follow expecteddiagnostic and treatment procedures based on their level of expertiseand experience. This would ensure that the results arrived at areappropriate and meet the require standards in the profession.
Itis also the responsibility of the therapist to mind the welfare andintegrity of the client. If such a client is mindful of the welfareof the client, they would endeavor at all times to offer their all sothat they clients could overcome the challenges they may beexperiencing.
Characteristicstherapists should possess to do individual therapy
Fortherapists to be effective in individual therapies they should havegood communication and interpersonal skills. This would ensure thatthey are able to articulate issues well to guarantee goodunderstanding.
Thetherapists should have the ability to give explanations of symptomsand be able to adjust the symptoms to future changes of situations.This would guide them well in reaching the appropriate diagnostic andtreatments.
Therapistsin individual therapies should have the ability to inspire theirclients and instill optimism about the probability of improvement.This would make clients look forward to positive results as theycontinue with the treatments.
Therapistsshould also have the ability to commit themselves to continuededucation and training so that they could enhance their competence.This would keep them updated on the latest practices in their line ofprofession.
Atherapist who participates in individual therapies should demonstratetheir ability to rely on research that is evidence-based. This wouldensure their diagnostics and treatments have the necessary backingsat all times (Brown & Lent, 2000). Clients would also have moreconfidence in such clients. They would receive the necessary supportfrom the professional bodies they are affiliated to.
Thetherapists should be of high moral standing within their respectivesocieties. This would put them in good positions to assume theirroles as questionable behaviors may cause lack of confidence by theirclients.
Finally,the therapists in individual counseling sessions should have theability to be sensitive toward the cultural background of theclients. This would ensure that they don`t make comments that arecontrary to cultures of clients and hence interfere with thetherapies through loss of confidence.
Characteristicsclients need to possess to be good candidates for individual therapy
Tobe good candidates for individual therapies, clients should have theability to articulate their problem well. They should, therefore, bein a position to tell exactly what it is they are going through. Thatwould provide the therapist will necessary background informationabout the problem and enable them to prepare well to provideappropriate treatment.
Theclients should also have the ability to pay for the therapies.Alternatively, they should be in a position to make otherarrangements that would provide for the payment of accrued bills.Failure to meet the requirement could interfere with the schedule ofthe therapy.
Tobe good candidates, clients must have the ability, to be honest atall times. This ensures that they are in a position to reveal theproblem exhaustively to provide necessary facts to come up withdiagnosis and treatments.
Theclients should also have the ability to focus on their problems. Thiswould ensure they remain committed to the goals and objectives of thetherapy to exacerbate recovery.
Mytheoretical orientation is family therapy. Family therapy is based onthe understanding the operations within family systems to solvepsychological problems. It involves understanding how family networksfunction and how these networks could lead to the development of aproblem in one or several members of the family. This orientationfocuses on family structures and relationships in arriving at abetter understanding of the nature of the problem than an individualcould be experiencing. The dynamics within family setups are analyzedfully to enable a therapist to come up the appropriate diagnosis andtreatment to the client. It performs well with couples and otherfamily setups including extended family systems, to bring about goodunderstanding about existing problems in an effort to createtherapeutic measures.
Ihave chosen that theory because I understand well how familiesfunction, having been a product of a close extended family. Iunderstand the source of conflicts within families and how suchpressures could overwhelm an individual resulting to psychologicaldisorders.
Familytherapy has several strengths.
Oneof the strengths is that it could be applied to handle more thanpsychological issues of the individuals. It could be used to handleproblems related to families such as divorce and strengthening offamilies (Hartz, & Splain, 1997). The family therapy is could beused to handle problems before they affect other members of thefamily. That is possible if the individual is identified early and issubjected to psychotherapy as is required or recommended.
Thefamily therapy is also very effective in treating of emotionalproblems and drug abuse since the problems are identified earlyenough before they could run out of control. It is also effective inhelping solve similar problems within the family (Hartz, &Splain, 1997). Individuals who have attended therapy sessions shareinformation with the rest of family members who could contributegreatly to managing similar future problems within the family.
Familytherapy, however, could have devastating effects on the individualfamily member with a problem. This happens when such a problem isused to ridicule those with it which could worsen this situation.This is informed by the fact that most of the family members areaware of the existence of the problem
Individualcounseling therapies are effective therapies that have been employedby therapist around the world. For effective individual counseling,there are several responsibilities that both the client and thetherapists must be adhered to (Oberst, & Stewart, 2003). Therealso favorable conditions under which individual counseling should beconducted, to ensure that goals and objectives of the therapies areachieved. These therapies have benefits and weaknesses too but theyshould be applied to suit the contexts and circumstances of theindividual so that maximum befit could be realized.
Clientsare at liberty to choose the counselor they would like to work with,based on the nature of their problems. Counselors, on the other hand,have a right to reject to work with some clients if such interactionscould compromise their ethics and standards informed by theirtraining and professional requirements. However if all conditions aremet individual counseling could be highly successful in alleviatingthe suffering of clients.
Brown,S. D., & Lent, R. W. (2000). Handbookof counseling psychology.New York: Wiley.
Hartz,G. W., & Splain, D. M. (1997). PsychosocialIntervention in Long-Term Care: An Advanced Guide.New York: Haworth Press.
Oberst,U. E., & Stewart, A. E. (2003). Adlerianpsychotherapy: An advanced approach to individual psychology.Hove [England: Brunner-Routledge.