Individual therapy is a treatment process that occurs between a Counselling Psychologist and their client. They meet to engage in a relationship where exploring the patient’s life, mind and relational patterns is the primary activity. This self-exploration is the tool used for the client to realise their own solutions and areas for change, which aims to decrease any existing symptoms and improve overall well-being.
Creative thinking, a non-judgemental space and therapeutic techniques are used to facilitate self-awareness. Ideally, individual therapy is both a mental process and a profoundly emotional one.
Many adolescents seek individual therapy to help with school/learning problems, parent-child disputes, depression and anxiety. Adolescence is often a difficult developmental phase as children try to individuate and find their own identity while still under the guidance of their guardians. The emphasis in working with adolescents is on providing a safe place for them to explore their identity. Empathic listening and the encouragement of free thinking hopefully allows the client to find their voice. As with any client, I would advocate for their hopes and accomplishments, and strive for a relationship of playfulness, warmth and trust. Additionally, I like to work in close connection with parents/guardians in order to facilitate healthy family relationships, effective boundary setting and confident parenting.
Adult therapy comprises about half of the therapy cases in South Africa. I work with a wide variety of issues, including work and relationship problems, depression and anxiety, bereavement, difficulty transitioning through life stages, divorce, feeling unable to cope, lack of motivation, low self-esteem, recurrent thoughts of death or dying, and so on.
As a counselling psychologist, I strive to create an open, safe space for clients to express their feelings and thoughts, while carefully and empathically listening, in order to assist the client to become more self-aware in coping with challenges. A deeper understanding of ourselves can empower us to make valuable changes where necessary.