Individual Addiction Counseling

One treatment option for those struggling with drug or alcohol addiction is individual counseling, where the patient and therapist go into depth one-on-one to identify issues, recognize problematic behaviors, and learn methods of recovery. While individual counseling is often coupled with other forms of therapy, it’s still a key piece of the puzzle to help people put together the plan that is best for them.

Especially for individuals who are struggling with depression, anxiety, relationship issues, stress, or guilt, or for those who are trying to self-medicate, individual counseling gives them a safe space to address these issues privately. Having a chance to talk to a counselor in an isolated setting is also beneficial in helping a patient understand the specific psychological issues underlying their case and the best methods to treat those issues.

Individual counseling to treat drug and alcohol addiction

How Individual Addiction Counseling Works

Individual therapy is composed of private sessions between the patient and a mental health professional that focus on different areas (depending on the patient’s progress). This could be education about addiction, helping the patient find self-knowledge, boosting the patient’s self-confidence, helping them identify their internal motivation, and more.

Meetings usually occur in a therapist’s office, but they can also take place in an environment best suited to the patient, including a meeting room or outdoor facility. Generally, sessions last approximately an hour and the frequency of the meetings is set by the therapist and patient to best meet the patient’s needs and stage of recovery.

The details of the therapy session will differ, but therapists will generally check in with the patient about the progress with other rehab treatments, discuss obstacles they are running into on their road to recovery, go through any symptoms they may have, and help teach skills to manage cravings and withdrawals. Together, the patient and therapist will set some specific goals for the patient to work towards before the next session.

In every situation, the therapist is a partner for the patient to help them through the process. They are not there to condemn or criticize the person for past mistakes but to help them find ways to improve. This provides patients the opportunity to learn about their own interests, goals, and motivations, as well as what underlies their addiction, and gives them an environment to learn and practice coping skills.

Therapeutic Modalities

Therapeutic modalities are evidence-based methods to handle individual or group sessions to produce a positive outcome. Modalities commonly used when treating substance-abuse issues include:

  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • Relapse Prevention Training

Why Individual Counseling?

Individual counseling is almost always a part of a successful rehab program. Whether you’re doing your treatment at home or heading to a facility, you’ll go to regular counseling sessions, but the frequency and time frame may vary. For patients with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, or bi-polar disorder, dual-diagnosis treatment centers will provide more counseling to help address these issues at the same time as the addiction.


Find the right rehab facility for you


Ask how much individual counseling is included in any treatment program you’re undertaking and decide if it’s enough to truly help you. Some people only need a few sessions to point them in the right direction and benefit more from other therapies while others want the privacy and personal attention that individual counseling provides.

Should You Look for Individual Counseling Sessions?

The great news for those that feel they would benefit from individual counseling sessions as a part of their addiction recovery is you don’t often have to look very far. Many programs include this type of therapy as part of their treatment. However, the amount of individual time a client will receive can vary widely depending on the facility. Clients struggling with depression, anxiety, or other mental issues will need more counseling to address these issues directly. In these situations, it’s best to find a dual-diagnosis facility to treat these issues along with addiction.

Give us a call today at 877-251-4813 to find out which treatment programs offer the individual counseling that is right for you.

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