Individual Counseling Colorado Springs
Individual counseling is a means for people struggling with mood disturbances such as depression and anxiety or other interpersonal issues. Individuals can adapt to cope with stress, interpersonal issues, grief, anger issues, and low self-esteem throughout the counseling process. The therapist partners with the individual to discover their own answers to the problems they bring to counseling.
These problems occur when individuals form false conclusions or beliefs about themselves reinforced by negative and traumatic experiences in their lives. From these beliefs, feelings flow that motivate behavior that is either adaptive or maladaptive. Research has shown that anxiety originates in the automatic thoughts that we think. These thoughts arise from the conclusions we have drawn to bring sense to our experiences, both positive and negative.
Individual counseling provides the opportunity for individuals to discover their fears that creates anxiety and confront them. During the counseling process, the client focuses on what is true about them and what defines them.
Benefits of Individual Counseling
Individual counseling helps for a variety of reasons. Increasing self-awareness and encouraging self-exploration leads individuals to discover the source of their inherent worth and value. They learn to confront the false conclusions that motivated the behavior that has become problematic for them. They learn to identify boundaries, enhancing communication skills, and improve the use of healthy coping skills.
Change occurs after recognizing negative behaviors resulting from feelings that originate in what we believe about ourselves. Identifying our feelings and discovering what we believe in that situation helps us find out if what we think about ourselves is true or not. Change happens when we can accept the painful feelings and thoughts without giving them meaning. We are free to choose based on what we know versus what we feel.
Throughout the counseling process, the individual and therapist engage in a journey to discover the core issues that prevent them from experiencing significance and meaningful life. Therapists encourage individuals to reflect and confront the conclusions made as a result of experiences in their life.
Mindfulness, a widely used therapy model, increases individual’s ability to stay in the here and now. The mindfulness activities encourage them to experience thoughts, feelings, and sensations occurring in the session. This practice leads to self-awareness of the human experience. What is going on inside me–right now?
Therapists reflect on the impact of an individual’s behavior on the desired outcome. Cognitive Behavioral therapists highlight the mismatch between what the individual thinks will happen and what happens.
An individual who struggles with a specific fear of heights would likely avoid climbing stairs or hiking in the mountains to decrease the stress. However, the avoidance allows the alarm to strengthen. Therapists are crucial outside observers who provide individuals with a perspective they cannot see on their own.
Self-confrontation is the process where an individual gains awareness into the motivators of problematic behaviors and why they are occurring. During self-confrontation, individuals differentiate between what they feel about themselves and what is true about them. They confront the cognitive distortions or false conclusions. Therapists encourage individuals to embark on a journey of self-exploration. Who am I? What do I believe about myself? What makes life meaningful? These are questions counseling brings to the forefront for the individual.
Many individuals seek counseling for issues related to their relationships and social skills. Often, problems arise from inadequate or a lack of boundaries. Boundaries are the physical and emotional limitations that help to differentiate the desires, needs, and preferences of one person from another. Boundaries allow everyone to be safe in relationships. They help us distinguish between you and me. The most crucial aspect of establishing boundaries recognizes where you need them.
To communicate boundaries, an individual must first identify and become aware of them. The therapist’s role provides insight into the needs and preferences of an individual. How much time do you need away from your partner each week? How can you prioritize tasks to set boundaries for yourself? Each of these questions are explored in counseling.
In addition to identifying boundaries, counseling improves communication skills, such as those on assertiveness, emotional intelligence, empathy, active listening, confidence, and respect. Assertiveness, which involves standing up for one’s own needs while also respecting the needs of others and is crucial to maintaining a healthy sense of self within relationships.
Healthy Coping Skills
Individuals gain valuable coping skills throughout the counseling process. For example, therapists who utilize Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) focus on mindfulness techniques during the session, which is useful in decreasing anxiety.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) encourages individuals to use coping skills related to the individual’s thought patterns. For instance, CBT increases an individual’s ability to identify triggers and unhealthy thoughts related to anxiety and depression. Counselors who practice CBT also inform the individuals about ways to reframe thoughts and consider alternative perspectives.