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Image of a client attentively listening to a counselor, representing the safe and supportive therapy provided on our individual therapy page. Discover a therapeutic environment where you can explore, heal, and grow. Our dedicated counselors offer personalized support to help you on your journey towards well-being.

Have a particular life obstacle you’re trying to overcome?

Sometimes, seeking help from an expert is the best way to put things into perspective.

At Bright Light Counseling Center, we believe that everyone has the potential to live a full and vibrant life. However, we know that sometimes life can get in the way of that, and it's not always easy to navigate the ups and downs on your own. That's where therapy comes in - it's a safe and supportive space where you can explore your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and work towards creating the life you deserve.

Bright Light Counseling Center Therapists

Micaela Hernandez

Micaela Hernandez, MSSW, LCSW

Therapy in Texas and Virginia

Julie Gruca

Therapy in Texas

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Kate Morales, MPsy, LPA

Supervised by Dr. Beth Marnix

Therapy in Texas

Megan Bryk LCSW

Therapy in Illinois

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Teal Jackson-Mappus, MSW, LCSW

Therapy in Texas and Colorado

Professional headshot of Adam Scartozzi, a dedicated counselor in Illinois. Adam specializes in chronic anxiety, existential dread, and therapy for men. With his compassionate approach and specialized expertise, Adam provides personalized support to clients navigating these challenges in their lives

Therapy in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Florida

Professional headshot of Dr. Beth Marnix, a licensed psychologist in Texas. Dr. Marnix specializes in trauma therapy, specifically working with women who have experienced family of origin trauma and chronic developmental trauma. She incorporates EMDR therapy to facilitate healing and recovery in her clients.

Therapy in Illinois, Texas, Indiana, and PSYPACT states

Curious about about what counseling would look like for you? 
Click Below to learn more. 

Individual Counseling

Individual therapy, also known as talk therapy or counseling, is a form of mental health treatment that involves one-on-one sessions between a client and a mental health professional, such as a counselor, social worker, psychologist, or therapist.

 

As highly trained mental health professionals, we work with you to explore your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. We will help you make sense of what is happening now and even what happened in the past. We will help you to develop coping skills and strategies to manage stress.

 

Our goal is to help you live the life that you want to live. We can help you manage what is not working for you so that you begin to move towards living your best life.

Our therapists provide a safe and confidential space for you to talk about your experiences, and will work collaboratively with you to develop a treatment plan that is personalized to your unique needs and circumstances.

Let's explore in more detail what you can expect from the therapy process with us.

therapy with a woman psychologist and male patient

The Therapy Process

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Understanding the therapy process can help you feel more comfortable and prepared as you begin your journey towards better mental health and personal growth. Here's what you can expect:

Session Structure and Frequency


Typically, therapy sessions last about 55 minutes. We usually recommend starting with weekly sessions to build momentum and establish a strong therapeutic relationship. As you progress, we may adjust the frequency based on your needs and goals. Some clients benefit from bi-weekly sessions, while others may need more intensive support with multiple sessions per week.

Initial Assessment and Goal-Setting


Your first few sessions will focus on getting to know you and understanding your concerns. We'll conduct a comprehensive assessment, exploring your current challenges, personal history, and what you hope to achieve through therapy. This helps us develop a clear picture of your needs and formulate an effective treatment plan.

Together, we'll set specific, achievable goals for your therapy. These goals will guide our work and help us measure your progress. Remember, these goals can be adjusted as we go along – therapy is a flexible process that adapts to your changing needs.

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At our practice, we utilize a variety of evidence-based therapeutic approaches tailored to your unique situation. Some of the approaches we may use include:

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): ACT helps you accept what is out of your control and commit to actions that improve and enrich your life. It emphasizes mindfulness skills and aligning your behaviors with your core values.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): This approach focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to your difficulties.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): DBT combines cognitive-behavioral techniques with mindfulness strategies, particularly helpful for emotion regulation and interpersonal effectiveness.

 

Mindfulness-Based Therapies: These techniques help you stay present and develop greater awareness of your thoughts and feelings.

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT): This approach concentrates on finding solutions to current problems rather than analyzing past issues.

 

Your therapist often integrates techniques from multiple approaches to create a treatment plan that works best for you. 

Between sessions, you may be encouraged to engage in homework assignments tailored to your specific goals. These might include practicing new coping skills, keeping thought records, or engaging in self-reflection exercises.

Throughout the process, we encourage open communication. If you have questions about the therapeutic approach or if you feel something isn't working, please let your therapist know. Our goal is to create a collaborative, effective therapy experience that helps you achieve your goals and improve your overall well-being.

Therapeutic Approaches

Forest Road

Benefits of Individual Therapy

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Individual therapy offers numerous benefits that can significantly improve your quality of life:

  • Improved Self-awareness and Personal Growth: Therapy provides a space for self-exploration, helping you understand your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors better. This increased self-awareness can lead to personal growth and more fulfilling relationships.

  • Better Problem-solving and Decision-making Skills: Through therapy, you'll learn effective strategies to approach life's challenges, making it easier to navigate difficult situations and make confident decisions.

  • Enhanced Communication and Relationship Skills: Therapy can help you develop better ways to express yourself and understand others, leading to improved relationships in all areas of your life.

  • Increased Self-esteem and Confidence: As you work through your challenges and achieve your goals, you'll likely experience a boost in self-esteem and confidence, empowering you to face life's challenges with resilience.

Embarking on your therapy journey is a courageous step towards personal growth and well-being. As you begin this process, it's helpful to understand what you can expect from your sessions and the therapeutic relationship.

Building a Trusting Relationship

 

At the heart of effective therapy is a strong, trusting relationship between you and your therapist. Our highly trained mental health professionals prioritize creating a safe, non-judgmental space where you can openly express your thoughts and feelings. This trust doesn't always happen instantly - it's something that grows over time as you work together. Your therapist will be patient, understanding, and respectful of your pace in opening up.

Collaborative Approach

 

Therapy is not a one-way street where the therapist simply gives advice. Instead, it's a collaborative process where you and your therapist work together as a team. We believe that you are the expert on your own life, and we're here to guide you in exploring your experiences, understanding your patterns, and developing strategies for change. Together, we'll set goals, track progress, and adjust our approach as needed to ensure you're getting the most out of your therapy sessions.

Challenges and Rewards

 

It's important to understand that therapy can be both challenging and rewarding. There may be sessions where you confront difficult emotions or painful memories, which can feel uncomfortable in the moment. However, working through these challenges often leads to significant breakthroughs and personal growth. Your therapist will be there to support you through the tough moments and celebrate your progress, no matter how small it may seem.

Remember, every therapy journey is unique. While these points give you a general idea of what to expect, your individual experience may vary. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you have about the therapy process with your therapist. They're there to support you every step of the way on your path to living the life you want to live.

Confidentiality and Ethics

 

Your privacy and trust are paramount to us. We adhere to strict confidentiality guidelines as mandated by HIPAA and our professional ethical codes. Information shared in therapy remains confidential, with few exceptions required by law (such as imminent danger to self or others, or suspected abuse of minors or vulnerable adults).

What to Expect in Therapy

Rock Balancing

We offer individual counseling with expertise in the following areas


Whether you're dealing with a specific mental health condition or simply seeking personal growth,

our therapists are here to support you.

Relationship Problems and Conflict

Decision Making Difficulties

Difficulty with Work/Life Balance

Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence

Personal Life and Career Dissatisfaction

Grief and Loss

Duration of Therapy

Sunset

We offer both short-term and long-term therapy options, recognizing that each individual's journey is unique. The length of your therapy will be a collaborative decision between you and your therapist, based on your specific needs, goals, and progress.

Short-Term Therapy

 

Short-term therapy typically ranges from 8 to 20 sessions. It often focuses on specific, well-defined issues or immediate crises. 

Long-Term Therapy

 

Long-term therapy extends beyond 20 sessions and can last for several months or even years. This approach is often beneficial for addressing complex or chronic issues, deep-seated patterns, or for those seeking profound personal growth and self-exploration.

Regular Check-ins

 

Regardless of the initial plan, your therapist will regularly check in with you about your progress and the therapy's effectiveness. These check-ins might include discussions about:

  • How you're feeling about your progress

  • Whether your goals have shifted or evolved

  • If you feel the current approach is working for you

  • Any new challenges or issues that have arisen

Making Decisions Together

 

Decisions about continuing, concluding, or changing the focus of therapy will always be made collaboratively. Your therapist will offer their professional opinion, but your input and comfort level are crucial in this process.

Preparing for Conclusion

 

As you begin to meet your therapy goals and start to notice improvements in your daily life, your therapist will begin to discuss the process of concluding therapy. This might involve:

  • Gradually reducing session frequency

  • Reviewing your progress and the skills you've developed

  • Creating a plan for maintaining your progress post-therapy

  • Discussing options for future check-ins or returning to therapy if needed

 

Remember, the length of your therapy journey is not a measure of success or failure. Some individuals achieve their goals in just a few sessions, while others benefit from ongoing support. Our aim is to provide you with the right level of care for your unique situation, always prioritizing your well-being and personal growth.

 

Take the first step in feeling better

Three joyful teens sitting on the grass, sharing laughter and camaraderie. This image on our individual counseling site page represents the positive impact of individual counseling for teens. Discover our counseling services near you in Austin, TX and Chicago, IL, offering personalized support for anxiety, depression, life stress, and relational issues. Let our experienced counselors guide your teen towards emotional well-being and personal growth.

Therapy for Teens: Your Safe Space to Figure Life Out

Hey there, future world-changers! We get it - being a teen is like riding an emotional rollercoaster while juggling flaming torches. One minute you're on top of the world, the next you're wondering if you accidentally put on mismatched socks (spoiler: it's totally a fashion statement).

Life's throwing a lot at you right now:

 

  • Who am I? (Besides being awesome, of course)

  • What do I want to be? (Besides a professional Netflix binger)

  • Where am I going? (Besides to the fridge for the millionth time)

And that's all while dealing with the daily drama of school, friends, family, and maybe that part-time job. Phew! 

That's where we come in. Think of us as your personal life coaches, but cooler (we hope). We're here to create a judgment-free zone where you can spill your guts without worrying about likes or follows.

In our sessions, we'll tackle all the stuff that's making your brain go "?!?!"

  • Anxiety (because adulting is scary)

  • Depression (for when life feels like a wet blanket)

  • Self-esteem (you're amazing, let's make sure you know it)

  • Friend drama (we've all been there)

  • Family feuds (no, not the game show)

  • School stress (because who thought calculus was a good idea?)

  • Identity questions (labels are for soup cans, not people)

And hey, we know your parents might seem like they're from another planet sometimes. We'll help them understand your world better too, so home doesn't feel like a war zone.

Remember, seeking help doesn't mean you're broken - it means you're brave enough to admit when you need a hand. So let's team up and show those teenage years who's boss! 

Therapy for College Students: Navigating Your Path to Adulthood

College life is an exhilarating blend of freedom, opportunity, and, let's face it, a fair share of challenges. It's like you've been handed the keys to adulthood, but there is no one there to guide you. 

We get it. This phase of life is packed with big questions and even bigger decisions. You might find yourself pondering:

  • Who am I? (And no, "professional caffeine consumer" isn't a long-term career option)

  • What do I want to do with my life? (Hint: "Professional napper" isn't on the job market... yet)

  • How do I "adult"? (Spoiler alert: Even actual adults are figuring this out)

  • What career path should I choose? (When "TikTok influencer" isn't quite cutting it)

  • How do I balance academics, work, and a social life? (Sleep is in there somewhere, we promise)

  • Am I on the right track, or should I pivot? (Plot twist: There's no single "right" track)

  • How do I maintain relationships while discovering who I am? (It's not you, it's... well, maybe it is you, and that's okay)

  • Is it normal to feel this overwhelmed sometimes? (Short answer: Yes. Long answer: Yeeeeesssss)

These questions are all part of the college and young adult experience. It's a time of immense growth, self-discovery, and yes, occasionally feeling like you're in over your head. But don't worry – that's where we come in. We're here to help you navigate these choppy waters and emerge as the captain of your own ship. (Too much? We're working on our metaphors too.)

In our sessions, we'll work together to:

  • Develop effective stress management techniques

  • Explore your values and goals

  • Build resilience and self-confidence

  • Improve decision-making skills

  • Enhance your relationships and communication

  • Address any mental health concerns like anxiety or depression

Remember, seeking support isn't a sign of weakness—it's a smart strategy for personal growth and success. Let's collaborate to make your college years not just survivable, but truly thriving and transformative.

Ready to take charge of your college experience and future? Reach out to us, and let's start this journey together!

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Image of a counselor and client sitting on a couch, representing the individual therapy page. Discover our counseling services for adults as you embark on a journey of personal growth and healing. Our dedicated counselors provide compassionate support and guidance tailored to your unique needs.

Counseling for Adults

We have developed specialized knowledge and experiences in working with adults. We understand that you are juggling many roles and responsibilities while trying to live a full life, establishing and maintaining meaningful relationships, and navigating career transitions or mid-life changes. We know that your past experiences, pains, and accomplishments have shaped who you are today. We are ready to meet you where you are and collaborate in therapy to address your unique experiences and concerns. You and your therapist will work together to address managing stress, improving self-esteem, addressing relationship issues, dealing with grief or loss, or managing mental health conditions like anxiety or depression. We will also help you identify long standing ineffective patterns of engaging with yourself and others and find ways to promote personal growth and positive change. The ultimate aim of individual therapy for adults is to support personal growth, enhance emotional well-being, and improve overall quality of life.

Counseling Tailored to You

At Bright Light Counseling Center, we believe that therapy doesn't have to be boring or stuffy - in fact, we think it should be fun! Our therapists are warm, engaging, and approachable, and we strive to create a relaxed and comfortable environment where you can feel at ease. We know that therapy is hard work - and we will go at your pace - even with an encouraging push. We'll work with you to help you rediscover your own strengths and resources, and empower you to take charge of your own life.​ 

 

Our team of expert clinicians is here to help you rediscover your own bright light, one session at a time. We understand that each person is unique, and that's why we take a personalized approach to therapy. Developing a supportive therapeutic alliance is our top priority. We'll work collaboratively with you to develop a treatment plan that's tailored to your individual needs and goals.  Our therapists provide a supportive and non-judgmental environment where you can freely express their thoughts, emotions, and experiences. Individual therapy can be short-term or long-term, depending on your individual needs and goals.

 

Whether you're struggling with anxiety, depression, trauma, life changes and transitions, relationship issues, or any other mental health concern, individual therapy can be an effective way to address these challenges. Our therapists are skilled at using evidence-based approaches, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Exposure and Responsive Prevention (ERP) and more, to help you develop the skills and insights you need to overcome your obstacles and create a life that's worth living.

So, if you're ready to take the first step on your journey towards a brighter future, contact us today to schedule your first individual therapy session.

We can't wait to help you rediscover your own bright light, one session at a time!​​​​

Let's rediscover your Bright Light.

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