What Happens in Individual Counseling Sessions?

We’re glad you’re arrived here, at this page on our website. The fact that you are here is a sure sign that you’re ready to move past your current struggles.

We know it can be scary to seek out a therapist for the very first time. For some, it even feels like an admission of weakness or failure. At LifeStance Health, we understand the anxiety you might be feeling. And we want to explain the process to help you feel reassured.

Together, let’s go over what happens in individual counseling sessions at LifeStance Health. That way you’ll know exactly what to expect when you’re ready to start the process.

Who We Help

You might be wondering, “Can LifeStance Health help me with the specific issue I’m experiencing?”

If you’re struggling with any of the following issues, LifeStance Health can help:

  • Depression – A consistent feeling of sadness.
  • Anxiety – Bad enough to keep you from sleeping many nights.
  • Substance abuse – Including overeating, alcohol, and drug abuse.
  • Marital strife – For when your relationship is on the brink. (If you’d like to attend counseling alongside your partner, we have Couples Counseling available as well.)
  • Parent-child conflict – When you’ve tried everything, but nothing seems to get through. We can work with individuals or with families as a whole. (See Child/Teen for more.)
  • Relationship problems – A relationship you value is causing you pain on a regular basis.
  • Abuse – Someone in your life hurts you, either verbally or physically.
  • Traumatic events – Including divorce, the death of a loved one, or the loss of a job.
  • Hurts from the past – Including rape, abuse, neglect or other issues that continue to plague you. These are often issues you’ve never spoken about to anyone.

The 3 Phases of Individual Counseling:

Phase 1: Welcome

We want to get to know you, and we want to understand your struggle.

We want you to have the chance to meet us, see our offices, and ask whatever questions you need to in order to feel comfortable.

Everything starts with your initial phone call or email (both are always confidential). This lets us know you’d like to talk to us and gets the process started.

The first step is a free initial consult, where you’ll meet with one of our counselors and explain your struggles.

Your counselor will provide a completely safe, completely confidential environment for this conversation. His or her goal will be to listen and understand; to determine the best course of action with you; and to help you feel confident in the process, explaining just how he or she will help.

Your therapist will actively seek to get to know you—including your background, struggles, and current life circumstances—over the first few sessions. You’ll feel heard and understood. You’ll feel cared for and comforted.

Phase 2: Empowerment

The empowerment phase is about learning new skills for immediate short-term relief.

Once your therapist understands your story—once he or she has gotten to know you better—the healing work begins. Your counselor will teach you powerful, simple-to-use techniques that will help you regain control of your day-to-day life.

You’ll learn how to use skills such as:

  • Mindfulness
  • Re-decision
  • Gratitude
  • Effective communication
  • Positive life decision making
  • Several other skills

Your counselor will walk you through the best techniques for your unique circumstance. In the end:

  • You’ll rely on a new skill set that will help you feel whole again. (That’ll replace any old coping styles that offer escape but no real relief.)
  • You’ll start feeling like you can take charge of your life again. (That’ll replace feelings of being trapped by your emotions and circumstance.)

Part 3: Resolution

Part 3 is a deeper body of work. Your counselor will help you uncover and understand the underlying causes of your distress. Together, you’ll work through these issues, bringing you relief once and for all by learning to uproot your troubles.

For many people, this means exploring:

  • Early life struggles
  • Relational failures
  • Traumas you’ve suffered throughout your life

By working through these issues, many people find they finally experience relief from their internal struggles, once and for all.