People coming for individual counseling often have identified things in their life that are not working for them. They want to make some positive changes that will improve their quality of life, family dynamics, dating experiences, their own life goals, or help in making life choices. They come to individual counseling for a variety of reasons that are meaningful to them.
Sometimes people come because they are tired of not feeling happy, or they want to learn how to make better choices in their life, such as work, relationships, and their own lifestyle. Often times people have felt sad, frustrated or just having a low mood and want to feel better. Other times they may realize their mood is getting worse and they don’t know how to make it better.
Here are some statements and questions that I often get when a client calls or first comes in for individual counseling:
- I’m independent and successful. How do I prevent getting lost in a relationship?
- My relationships in dating have not worked.
- I don’t think I will ever find the right person.
- I don’t seem to attract the type of person I really want.
- Why do I keep attracting the guy who will hurt me?
- As soon as we get close, I seem to find a reason to end the relationship.
- My friends all have long-term relationships. What’s wrong with me?
- I can’t take the fighting anymore in my family when we all get together. What can I do?
- My parents still treat me as a child. I’m 29 years old. I’m afraid I am just getting more frustrated with them. I don’t want to hurt them, but what can I do to keep the relationship?
- My parents don’t like my husband/wife (or my mate doesn’t like my parents). I don’t want to lose them, but how can I fix this?
- I’m finding that I don’t even want to go out with my friends as much anymore. I just want to stay in my apartment. Is something wrong with me?
- I’m just not happy. I’m worried it’s just going to get worse.
- I feel like my friends are changing. Or maybe it’s me. But I’m not happy with them anymore. What do I do?
- When I look in the mirror I just don’t feel good about me anymore.
- Why do I keep getting passed over for promotions?
- I am missing more days of work and my manager told me I need to fix this.
- I am having trouble with one of my coworkers. We just don’t get along. I don’t know how to fix this.
- I just got a bad review. It totally caught me by surprise! I don’t know how to fix this. I’m thinking of changing jobs again.
How I Work With Clients
- I work with individual counseling clients in California through a secure online video chat application.
- My main goal with my clients is that they leave therapy, whenever that occurs, knowing themselves better, learning relevant skills, and having met their goals for psychotherapy to the best of our ability.
- “One size does not fit all” in this case. The goals are an individual fit regarding the clients’ needs, wants, and personality.
- My hope is that the sessions are helpful and that they feel emotionally safe in the process.
- I work “beneath the surface” to help the client recognize possible situations or methods of dealing with the world that may fit them better while building a more accurate understanding of who they really are inside.
- I am always looking for signs of a client making decisions out of avoidance of something negative, rather than what they really want. We explore what they want, and how to resolve what prevents them from going after something good.
How Long Does Individual Therapy Take?
- Sessions are from 50-60 minutes long. Individual counseling clients usually stay in therapy for at least 6 months, or until they have met their own goals for therapy.
- I usually see clients every two weeks. I find this gives the client an opportunity to practice what they are learning and to report back what works and what doesn’t work.
- The goals are determined by the client unless they want additional help from me.
- These goals can change over time, according to what currently fits the client’s needs.
Typical Clients For Individual Counseling
- I see clients ranging in age from 18 years of age and older.
- The clients that tend to find me are in their late twenties up to 50+ years of age.
- They are single, having a partner, married, divorced or never married.
- I see a mixture of men and women and enjoy working with them both.
- I work within a person’s culture and religious (including agnostic and atheist) beliefs.
Who I Don’t Treat
I don’t treat adolescents, people struggling with addiction or those with more serious symptoms or mental disorders, such as bipolar or borderline personality. I have not pursued the specialized training required for these areas.
Find out more about Susan Saint-Welch HERE.