Individual therapy is an important part of treatment for both addiction and mental disorders. It involves one on one sessions with a therapist. Individual therapy for addiction sessions are generally between 45 and 60 minutes, one or more times per week. The length of the session and frequency will be determined based on the therapist’s recommendation, how that therapist generally practices, or based on the requirements of your insurance plan.

Sometimes individual therapy is very solution-focused and short-term and may only last for a few sessions. However, in some cases, a person may work with their therapist for their maintenance therapy that may last months or even years.


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Types of Individual Therapists

Clinicians with a variety of different types of training offer individual therapy. Some types of individual therapists are licensed clinical social workers (LCSW), licensed clinical professional counselors (LCPC), or licensed psychologists (either with a Ph.D. or PsyD). Note that different states may have different names for these types of licenses. These all require different types of training or numbers of years of school. You will want a therapist licensed in their state and whose license is in good standing. Some therapists are also specially trained to work with those with co-occurring substance use and psychiatric disorders or those who have experienced trauma.

Some people prefer therapists of a particular age group or gender. But the most critical criteria in determining which individual therapist to work with is whether the therapist feels like a good fit for you. It can sometimes take a few sessions to make this determination.

It’s also vital to work with an individual therapist who uses treatment modalities that have been studied and proven effective, or what are known as evidence-based practices. An example of a treatment approach that is evidence-based is cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT. It is based on the idea that thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and behaviors are connected. CBT involves identifying thought distortions that contribute to anxiety and depression and learning to challenge and reframe them. An example of a thought distortion, known as “catastrophizing,” involves your mind always jumping to the worst-case scenario. CBT has been proven effective for treating substance use disorders and several mental health conditions.

Your therapist may also help you learn and utilize different kinds of coping strategies and stress management techniques like breathing exercises. Part of the benefit of individual therapy is also the alliance and rapport you develop with your therapist, which also helps with your progress. You will also be able to improve your personal communication skills which will help you effectively share your struggles in order for your therapist to better help you address them.

Experience of Individual Therapy for Addiction in Phoenix

For those who have never been in individual therapy, the idea of sharing your most personal feelings and thoughts with a stranger might at first seem uncomfortable. But therapists are trained to help put you at ease and offer compassion and support. Many people find that talking to a therapist is not as difficult as they thought it would be and is quite a relief. This is why those who are having difficulty sharing prefer having individual therapy sessions than group therapy. Everything you tell your therapist is confidential, with some limited exceptions. One exception is if you tell your therapist something which suggests you are a danger to yourself or others. In this situation, the therapist would need to determine the level of risk and, if necessary, take steps to assure safety. Therapists also share some limited information with your insurance provider and sometimes with their supervisors or the treatment team.

When you first meet with an individual therapist, they will get some background and history information from you to determine your diagnosis. They may ask about your family, substance use history, mental disorder history, medical conditions, employment, and education, among other questions. Together you will identify your goals for individual therapy and develop a comprehensive treatment plan. It’s helpful to know what you would like to get out of therapy and what success would look like for you.

When they first start individual therapy in Phoenix, AZ for alcohol or drug addiction, some people notice that they may feel somewhat worse than before they started. This is a very common experience because in therapy you may be discussing challenging experiences and feelings, and this can bring up uncomfortable feelings. But eventually, most people start to feel better and notice a significant improvement.

Like most things, you tend to get out of individual therapy for drug or alcohol addiction what you put into it. If you are motivated and engaged, you are likely to experience more progress. Likewise, if you frequently miss or are late for sessions or put in minimal effort, your progress is limited. Sometimes you may not feel like going to your therapy session. This can sometimes be when you are most in need of the therapy and will experience the greatest benefit.

Some people are reluctant to try individual therapy for addiction because of the stigma sometimes associated with mental health treatment. Maybe they grew up being told not to air their “dirty laundry” in public or that only “crazy” people see therapists. But the reality is that people from all walks of life go to individual therapy for addiction, including many high-functioning, successful individuals. These disorders are a disease like any other. Getting treatment or seeing an individual therapist is no different than a person with diabetes seeing a provider for that condition.

Many drug and alcohol rehab facilities offer individual therapy in Phoenix for addiction treatments in all their programs. At Camelback Recovery, we understand the importance of individual therapy for all of our patients. Individual therapy is included in your addiction treatment program, and your therapist is an integral part of the team responsible for your care.

Camelback Recovery understands that everyone has their unique story and situation and is devoted to developing a customized treatment plan that will cater to your specific situation. We’ll do whatever it takes to ensure you’re getting the treatment you need to successfully recover from and/or manage your disorders.

Where To Find Individual Treatment in Phoenix

At Camelback Recovery, we offer individual therapy in both our partial hospitalization program (PHP) and intensive outpatient program (IOP). We also operate four sober living homes for men and women who live in or near Phoenix.

Contact us today at 602-466-9880 to learn more about our therapy options, or fill out our contact form to hear back from us within one business day. Start your addiction recovery process today and get your life back on track.


Camelback Recovery’s therapy center provides treatment to residents across the state of Arizona and the greater Phoenix area which includes Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, and Glendale. Click the button below to read more testimonials from our happy and sober alumni.

Camelback recovery is amazing. The environment is great and welcoming. I highly recommend this place to anybody who is looking to better their life.

Joseph C

It was a really good experience! I made some stable friendships, had a lot of fun, and got to reside in an absolutely beautiful house.

Allie H