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Individual Therapy Program in Phoenix, AZ

Individual Therapy in Addiction Treatment

Individual psychotherapy is an essential part of treating the underlying issues that can fuel substance use disorders. Addiction decreases healthy coping skills, isolates you from your support system, and creates emotional and physical distress. Individual therapy helps you address these challenges.

Once you’ve eliminated drugs and alcohol from your system through detox, much of your treatment will focus on understanding your triggers and developing new ways to cope with them and live a healthy life. Individual therapy provides a safe, accepting space to do so with the help of a trusted counselor. Underlying issues of substance abuse often include:

Individual Therapy Program
  • Mental illnesses like depression and anxiety
  • Trauma
  • Unhealthy attachment styles/relationship
  • Grief and loss
  • Poor self-esteem and coping skills
Individual therapy is often included in residential treatment programs as well as intensive outpatient programs (IOP).

Types of Individual Therapy

An individual therapy program at an addiction treatment facility like Vogue Recovery Center typically includes psychotherapy. There are many types of psychotherapy. Vogue’s mental health professionals tailor their approaches to fit your individual needs and usually use a combination of therapeutic approaches during a therapy session. Some of our psychotherapies include:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based addiction therapy approach that focuses on changing behavior patterns. In CBT, your therapist assesses your thought patterns and identifies dysfunctional ones that are leading to unwanted behaviors. Many thought patterns are automatic. You don’t carefully consider them and decide if they are accurate and beneficial. CBT encourages you to mindfully explore your thoughts and change them to more accurate, positive ones. CBT is a results-based therapy. Many clients change harmful thinking patterns and behaviors in a short period of time.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is like CBT, but DBT focuses more on the behavior itself rather than the thoughts that lead to the behavior. DBT therapists help you identify unhealthy behavior patterns. They then offer strategies for change that include mindfulness techniques. DBT emphasizes new skills that help you change destructive behavior and relationship patterns.

Dialectical behavior therapy centers around:

  • A thesis (a behavior)
  • An antithesis (the opposite behavior or feeling)
  • A synthesis (the compromise or meeting of those behaviors and thoughts)

As part of this philosophy, a trained professional helps you accept thoughts without labeling them as “good” or “bad.” This helps you feel less controlled by them, which can make you less likely to act on them in unhealthy ways.

Psychodynamic Therapy

Counselors may draw on psychodynamic therapy during an individual therapy session. This type of treatment explores the root cause of destructive thoughts and behaviors. While CBT and DBT usually have a short duration, psychodynamic therapy can last for years. Psychodynamic therapy helps you explore trauma and understand the underlying reasons and motivations behind destructive behavior like substance abuse.

If you’re exploring trauma issues, your therapist may recommend this psychodynamic therapy in combination with specialized PTSD and trauma treatments. Combining trauma therapies with psychodynamic therapy can be helpful if you have trauma from:

  • Unhealthy attachments to caregivers
  • Military combat
  • Sexual or physical abuse
  • Emotional abuse or neglect
  • Grief and loss
  • Natural disasters

Psychodynamic therapy is flexible to what you consider your most pressing situational challenges. Through talk therapy, you’re encouraged to work out solutions to problems you’re dealing with right now, but you also identify how the past and unhealthy thinking and actions play a role in your life today. Your therapist becomes a guide, empowering you to develop the confidence and skills to address challenges independently.

Experiential Therapy

Experiential therapy focuses on activities that help you heal emotional wounds and express yourself in ways other than processing through talk therapy. Experiential therapy helps you recover emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Approaches may include:

  • Music therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Yoga
  • Adventure therapy
  • Mindfulness and breathwork

Experiential therapies can be enjoyable and provide different outlets of expression than traditional treatments. Experiential therapy can help you:

  • Develop new insights into your thoughts and behaviors
  • Gain self-confidence
  • Overcome fears
  • Achieve greater emotional awareness
  • Develop close friendships

What Happens in Individual Therapy?

Individual therapy sessions vary by therapist, therapeutic approach, and your specific needs. Individual therapy can take place in an alcohol or drug rehab center or in an office on an outpatient basis. Generally, individual therapy consists of:

Introduction and Goal Setting

The first individual therapy session is where you get to know the therapist and vice versa. The therapist will conduct a professional assessment, ask you several questions about yourself, and make clinical observations. You’ll talk about what brought you to therapy. You’ll also talk about what you’d like to get out of therapy. Some forms of therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy involve setting specific goals.

The first therapy session will also give you an idea of what therapy will be like with this particular therapist. Sometimes you must see a few different therapists before you find one that fits well with your personality and needs. You may need to give it a few sessions before deciding. This is fine, and a regular part of the process. You shouldn’t feel worried about telling a therapist that you’re going to seek out someone that’s a better fit for you.

Regular Therapy Sessions

Therapy works best when you keep a regular schedule. This way you can build trust and a sense of safety with your therapist. It also allows for congruency between sessions. Too much space between therapy appointments can make it feel like you’re starting all over again every session. In the beginning, most people attend therapy once a week. Depending on your needs and finances, you may see a therapist less, but you should still set up a regular schedule.

Other Support Providers

Sometimes an individual therapist will refer you to other behavioral health services. For example, if your therapist believes you may benefit from antidepressants, they may refer you to a psychiatrist for a medication evaluation. Other times, a therapist may refer you to specialty services. For example, if you’re having a difficult time healing from trauma, they may refer you to a trauma treatment specialist, such as an EMDR therapist.

Concluding Treatment

Once you and your therapist feel you’ve reached your goals, you may decide to stop attending sessions. Some people do this gradually, slowly decreasing the frequency of sessions, and eventually stopping altogether. Once you have a relationship with a therapist, you can always reach out to them again for sessions should you find yourself struggling.

Goals of Individual Therapy

Goals of individual therapy will be different for everyone. They could be goals around a specific situation, like determining if and how to ask your spouse for a divorce. They could be more general, such as improving self-esteem or the way you relate to people in your lives.

Examples of some individual therapy goals in effective treatment could be:

  • Learning healthy coping skills to better manage stress and triggers that lead to substance abuse.
  • Setting healthy boundaries with others.
  • Gaining more self-awareness as well as interpersonal skills.
  • Rediscovering your strengths.
  • Addressing trauma or mental health disorder symptoms that fuel drug and alcohol abuse.
  • Repairing relationships with loved ones or coming to terms with those relationships.

Benefits of Individual Therapy

Just like the goals of individual therapy, the benefits of individual therapy will be different for everyone. Some people who participate in individual therapy report:

  • Improved relationship with self and others.
  • Better at managing difficult emotions and situations.
  • Developing new coping skills.
  • Increased self-confidence.
  • More self-awareness.
  • Better stress tolerance.

How Long Do You Stay in Individual Therapy?

Some people go into therapy with a specific timeframe set. Others find that long-term therapy is an important part of maintaining their mental health. Ideally, you will attend therapy until you and your therapist feel that you are ready to discontinue it.

If you’re focusing on a specific issue or situation, therapy will usually end once that is resolved. The American Psychological Association reports that in general, it takes people 12 to 20 individual counseling sessions to see significant improvement in issues or symptoms.

Individual Therapy Program at Vogue Recovery Center

At Vogue Recovery Center, we take a holistic approach to addiction treatment that includes individual and group therapy. Our behavioral health team will work with you to develop an individual treatment program that addresses your mind, body, and spirit.

In addition to individual therapy, out treatment programs include these types of therapy:


Levels of care at Vogue Recovery Center include:

Contact us today to verify your insurance and learn more about how individual therapy and the rest of our comprehensive substance abuse treatment center can help you live a fulfilling life free of drugs and alcohol.

Kelsey Jones

Medically Reviewed by Kelsey Jones, MS, LPC

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