Individual psychotherapy is a traditional type of therapy that is typically one-on-one between a psychotherapist and a client. Psychotherapy, or counseling, allows individuals to explore their thoughts and feelings with a trained mental health professional, who is guided by a number of varied theoretical principles and approaches. Major theories of psychotherapy include Psychoanalysis, Psychodynamic, Jungian, Humanistic, Systemic, Cognitive-Behavioral and Gestalt. Individual psychotherapy provides clients with a unique opportunity to form a therapeutic relationship that is safe and positive. Most individual psychotherapy relies on talk therapy although some therapy is conducted using expressive modalities, like art, music, or drama therapy. The major goal of most psychotherapy is to help clients identify and resolve a wide range of relational, social, or psychological problems, whether they are long-standing or have emerged suddenly or a result of an immediate crisis situation. Typically, clients identify a situation that concerns them and psychotherapists guide them to problem-solve or gain insight, evaluating their options while gaining a deeper understanding of themselves and previously unidentified resources.
Therapists co-create a treatment plan with their clients in order to ensure that identified problems are addressed in a timely fashion. Depending on the theoretical approach, therapists utilize a wide range of directive or less directive ways of helping their clients. Most psychotherapists meet weekly with clients, while others may meet more frequently. Most psychotherapy occurs in a mental health professional’s office while some contemporary forms are provided on-line and/or in the home. Individual therapy can be provided to adults, teenagers, and young children. However, most professionals who work with young children seek out specialized training in play therapy, usually considered helpful to engage children in meaningful interactions. There is a common belief that working with children necessitates systemic or contextual work, such as dyadic work and/or family therapy.