We all benefit from help sometimes. During addiction recovery, you need a strong support system in place, including group and individual therapy. Your mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical health can improve if you speak to a trained professional when going through difficult times. Talk therapy is one of the most common forms of treatment for people in recovery. However, you should not rely solely on individual therapy. Most treatment centers and community facilities will use one-on-one therapy alongside other evidence-based treatments like medication-assisted therapy (MAT), group therapy, and alternative therapies.

Many psychotherapy methods have proven effective for treating substance use disorder (SUD). You can work with your therapist or care team to determine which one will be best for your continued recovery. Individual therapy allows you to work one-on-one with a mental health professional in a setting that is safe and non-judgemental.


The National Institute on Drug Abuse lists the following individual therapies as most helpful for people recovering from addiction:


Every person has unique needs; determining which therapy will work best for you depends on many factors, including dual diagnosis and practical considerations like insurance coverage. Almost all individual therapies will be either a form of psychotherapy or behavioral therapy; however, a few alternatives and holistic methods that stand out include the following:


Starting therapy for the first time may be intimidating, but knowing what to expect can make the initial stages more comfortable. Individual treatments like psychotherapy can be highly personalized so your therapist can work with you to map out goals and determine how best to utilize each session. Some benefits of attending one-on-one sessions with a trained professional during addiction recovery are the following:

  • Make it easier to stop using drugs or other substances
  • Support your abstinence and decrease the risk of a relapse
  • Assist you with working through issues so you can be productive for your family, career, and community


A typical therapy session will involve a conversation that provides valuable insights and teaches healthy coping skills. Below is a brief outline of what to expect during your first few individual appointments:

  1. The first session usually takes around forty-five minutes. During that time, your therapist will get to know about you and your current mental and physical health by asking questions. You may also spend some of this time completing the necessary paperwork. Once they have a clear understanding of where you are currently in your recovery, they will help you determine what goals you will want to reach. The therapist may suggest a specific individual therapy method if they feel that one may benefit you more than others. You will also create a care plan.
  2. During the second session, you will check in with your therapist about how you are currently feeling. Then they will work with you to figure out what root causes led to your substance use so that you can know what areas will need work in the subsequent weeks or months. You will start focusing on the subjects highlighted in your care plan.
  3. In the third session and ones that take place after it, you will use various forms of talk therapy, exercises, and homework to expand your self-awareness and learn new ways to build a healthier future for yourself. Often therapists will challenge ways of thinking which may be uncomfortable, but these discussions are part of the growth process.


Many people who are recovering from addiction have at least one mental health condition that requires treatment. A therapist uses individual therapy to successfully treat many disorders, including the following:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Anger management
  • Substance use disorder
  • Relationship issues
  • Bipolar and other mood disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Borderline personality disorder and other personality disorders
  • Some psychotic disorders, like Schizophrenia and Schizo-affective disorder

You do not have to be diagnosed with a mental health condition to benefit from using individual therapy. Psychotherapy can help you manage and cope with chronic or acute stress related to work, school, parenting, or other aspects of daily life.


A large body of evidence proves therapy is an excellent method for lowering stress and reducing the risk of relapse for people who have attended detox and rehabilitation programs. Some of the main advantages of individual therapy include the following:

  • You can tailor the subjects covered and the speed you work to fit your personal needs and lifestyle.
  • Individual therapy has more privacy than group sessions or 12-step meetings, and some people feel more at ease when opening up about sensitive topics.
  • You can more easily fit individual therapy sessions into your schedule.
  • One-on-one sessions usually lead to faster development of self-awareness compared to group sessions.
  • The therapy treatments are often more flexible, and you can adjust them as needed to accommodate significant life changes or unexpected developments in your life.



Individual therapy can come in many forms, which makes it ideal for substance use recovery. No matter where you are on your journey towards long-term sobriety, some type of psychotherapy can help. Using individual therapy, you can further control your emotional responses and reactions to situations you encounter in life.

Everyone reacts to treatment differently, which is why White House Recovery and Detox offers a wide variety of services. Not everyone is going to respond favorably to group support approaches. We offer alternative individual therapies like music and art that can connect with people who may struggle with more traditional forms of psychotherapy.


Individual Therapy pointingup 1648500769.592667 optimized 1648500769.808614