Individual Therapy

 “Courage doesn’t happen when you have all the answers. It happens when you are ready to face the questions you have been avoiding your whole life.” ~ Shannon L. Alder

Are you overwhelmed with fear, sadness, or anger? Do you feel stuck, unable to make significant changes in your life? Have you experienced a traumatic life event or a difficult transition? Do you feel lost?

I am here for you.

Few things in life are designed purely for someone’s personal growth and wellbeing. Psychotherapy is an interactive and collaborative process focused on improving your life and helping you find peace. Therapy is your chance to speak freely and without judgement in a confidential setting with a well-trained mental health professional.

Life is full of challenges. Relational difficulties and personal struggles can feel isolating and withering. Many of us feel alone in our suffering, stuck in an endless loop of trial and error. This is part of why individual therapy is so helpful. Individual sessions offer people the chance to find solutions in a cooperative, relational manner. This focus allows for not only general improvement in most areas of life, but the individualized attention each person deserves while going through trials.

You chose your goals, and your therapist helps you get there. Although each client has different goals, many people struggle with similar issues. Here are a few examples:

  • Social awkwardness
  • Loss of interest or energy
  • Thoughts of death or ending one’s life
  • Relationship problems
  • Frustration with career or work
  • Constant sense of unease or worry
  • Traumatic life events (abuse, combat, loss)
  • Difficulty controlling anger
  • Bouts of sadness and despair
  • Unemployment
  • Loss of a loved one, friend, or pet

What happens in therapy?

The first session of therapy tends to run more like an interview. I try to gather as much information as possible in this session and get to know my client. A healthy relationship must be founded on trust and understanding, and the therapy relationship is no different. Taking the time to get to know you will help build a relationship where therapy can happen. Subsequent sessions are much more conversational and natural – you as the client are running the show.

Motivation for engaging in therapy tends to be essential for progress to occur. Often, well-meaning family members or friends might pressure people to go to therapy. This pressure tends not to be helpful for the therapist or client. If your decision to come to therapy was not your own, let your therapist know. Therapy is for those who need it, but also those are ready.

As a word of caution – therapy frequently feels difficult. Oftentimes, people in therapy tend to feel worse (particularly those with trauma) before they get better. Clients experience this because they are re-experiencing the difficulties in their life, reliving some of those emotions. The reason therapy can fluctuate between difficulty and easy is because usually we have packaged up whatever is going on—anxiety, depression, or trauma, for example—and tried to make it into something more manageable. Therapy deconstructs this packaging. It takes what we have attempted to control and unwinds the careful defenses we have created. There is freedom in this, but there is also pain. This process can feel confusing and strenuous.   But remember, at no point in the process is the client alone or adrift. Throughout this deconstruction, the therapist works to empower the client through skill teaching and building resilience. This leads to better, longer lasting improvement in well-being and mental health. Therapists are trained to recognize your trajectory and track your progress. The ups and downs are part of the healing process.

How can individual therapy help?

Individual psychotherapy is the first line of treatment for issues such as depression (Renner, Cuijpers, & Huibers, 2014; Schramm et al, 2017), anxiety (Bandelow et al, 2015), trauma (Bremner & Campanella, 2016), and other relational and personal issues. My personal touch to therapy brings a holistic approach designed to enhance your psychological, social, and physical health. Clients can experience the freedom of sharing their story with a licensed professional counselor in a confidential, judgement-free setting.

As you begin therapy, you will learn to:

  • Manage your emotions
  • Conquer your fear and worry
  • Mend your relationships
  • Express feelings in a healthy manner
  • Be mindful and self-reflective

If you feel overwhelmed, stuck, depressed, anxious, or lost, I can help. Do not wait for your life to change – you have the power to find healing and reach new heights. I am committed to helping you reach your goals, find new purpose, and move forward into a happier and healthier life.

My name is Elizabeth Anderson, MFA, LMFT, and I am here for you. I work hard to stay on top of the most current research, particularly neuroscience, to provide the best help possible for my clients. My offices are located in Burbank and Pasadena, California, but I also see people from all over the Los Angeles county area. I can easily be reached to set up a session through phone or email, check out the Contact Me page to learn more!

References

Bandelow, B., Reitt, M., Röver, C., Michaelis, S., Görlich, Y., & Wedekind, D. (2015). Efficacy of treatments for anxiety disorders: a meta-analysis. International Clinical Psychopharmacology30(4), 183-192.

 

Bremner, J. D., & Campanella, C. (2016). Effects of psychotherapy for psychological trauma on PTSD symptoms and the brain. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: From Neurobiology to Treatment. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 413-20.

 

Renner, F., Cuijpers, P., & Huibers, M. J. H. (2014). The effect of psychotherapy for depression on improvements in social functioning: a meta-analysis. Psychological medicine44(14), 2913-2926.

 

Schramm, E., Kriston, L., Zobel, I., Bailer, J., Wambach, K., Backenstrass, M., … & Bausch, P. (2017). Effect of disorder-specific vs nonspecific psychotherapy for chronic depression: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA psychiatry74(3), 233-242.