What happens in individual therapy?

That really depends upon the person. We meet people where they are at emotionally, and focus on their unique needs. Treatment varies upon many factors. A simple way to categorize this is by age.


Children probably have even more fun than teenagers do. This is because most children don’t have the patience or vocabulary to sit on a couch and talk about feelings as older people with more mature brains can do. Therefore, channeling a child’s imagination and addressing emotional needs through art and play is a preferred approach to support a youngster in therapy. Powerful emotions such as anger, fear and sadness can be effectively attended to through creatively healing approaches. While many parents bring their children to therapy due to behavior issues, it is important to remember that behavior is the main way in which kids communicate their feelings because they don’t know how to articulate them. On the other hand, some young kids are incredibly capable of verbalizing their emotions. While they might be able to sit and talk for a full session, the most important part of child therapy is building and maintaining trust and safety. Playing and having fun are fantastic ways to nurture the trust and safety necessary for the healing and growing process.


Some teenagers like to sit and talk for the full session. Some are guided through the session with questions that open the way for more in-depth conversations. While some people are quick to open up, others are more cautious. So Cal Child Therapy prides itself on finding creative avenues to connect with our clients in meaningful ways that open up opportunities for personal growth. Some teenagers connect more through expressing themselves via creative or artistic endeavors. This type of process often leads to a deep and honest self-reflection that nurtures healing and maturity. Other times, playing and utilizing one’s imagination can usher in conversations that might not have taken place otherwise. Ultimately, therapy is often fun and something that teens look forward to. That fun is the impetus for breaking though the fear and resistance that most teens have toward therapy and it builds the trust and safety necessary for the therapeutic relationship to thrive.


We are not limited to working with youth. Our staff has ample experience working with adults from all walks of life. Individual therapy for adults is focused on identifying, exploring and expressing one’s thoughts and feelings through a strong and trustworthy therapeutic relationship. Often this is more discussion based. However, helping people access their creativity through art, writing, music, etc. can be extremely helpful for adults to better access their emotional intelligence and it can empower them to find healthy and lasting solutions to life’s troubles.