Each woman who embarks on the journey of self-healing and recovery at Villa Kali Ma will experience multiple individual therapy sessions each week that she is with us. This can include multiple sessions with her primary therapist as well as trauma therapy sessions, holistic therapy sessions, and individual case management sessions.

The Role of Individual Therapy in Women’s Addiction Treatment

Our team of experienced holistic therapists have vast clinical backgrounds that support the needs of each woman who finds her way to Villa Kali Ma. Our licensed and certified practitioners have many years of experience working with clients in and out of the residential treatment setting and are trained in modalities, such as:

The Stages of Transformation From Addiction to Recovery

Although the individual therapy sessions may vary in styles, approaches, and trainings, our individual practitioners all unite around the understanding that all therapy begins with the human to human connection and the rapport building that allows the client to access their healing from within. In addition to the vital stage of rapport building, the therapeutic relationship can be categorized in three archetypal approaches which includes the: Guardian, Gardener and Guide.

Stage 1: The Guardian

Each resident of Villa Kali Ma will need a different combination of these approaches. Thus, we are committed to individualizing the treatment process to meet the needs of each woman who embarks on her healing journey with us. Beginning with the Guardian stage, our practitioners can use multiple different approaches to create a safe container and the healthy attachment needed to help the client feel safe and grounded within the healing space at Villa Kali Ma.

Many of the woman who come to Villa Kali Ma are in need of Guardians that can model healthy boundaries, healthy attachment styles, and teach the skills that help with distress tolerance and emotion regulation. Through the building of relationships between the women who come to Villa Kali Ma and our practitioners, we create a safe and nourishing place that allows for true healing to take place throughout the treatment process.

Our therapists are highly trained and work collaboratively with each client in the development of individualized treatment goals and a plan of action appropriate for each woman and her current level of preparedness, willingness and desire. This stage is all about helping the client get back to her foundation and build a solid footing. We learn to prioritize our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being as a means of finding our way toward healing.

Similar to how a primary Guardian models and teaches us when we are children, the Guardian stage of the therapeutic relationship allows for each woman to come back home to their true self, learn new skills like “grounding” and “creating a safe place,” and learn the importance of boundaries, all while finally feeling seen, heard, and nurtured on a daily basis. The next stage of the therapeutic relationship is the Gardener stage.

Within this stage, our practitioners will help each woman plant their seeds for new understanding, healing, and new behaviors. For instance, we will support the development of introspective work through meditations, journaling, trauma reprocessing, psychoeducation groups, and trying out the new skills learned during the Guardian stage. We will encourage the practice of “pause” to truly connect with what seeds we are planting on a daily basis and what truths or untruths we are replaying in our minds.

We will encourage the cleaning out of the old cognitive distortions or belief systems that no longer serve us and make way for the planting of new beliefs that support healing and growth. Our therapists and individual therapy sessions will also facilitate any family support sessions needed to allow for seeds to be planted within the family system to encourage growth, understanding and lasting change.

Stage 2: The Gardener

Each woman will practice planting her own seeds of self-love and self-compassion as well as identifying each of her unique needs and practicing her boundaries. This is the therapeutic Gardener stage through which each woman cultivates the seeds of new beliefs, positive self-talk, and the application of new skills. We will practice how to reframe thoughts and change behavior patterns, assisting each woman in nourishing the soil and harvesting the bounty from the self-nurturing and healing garden she has planted.

Stage 3: The Guide

The final stage in the therapeutic relationship is the Guide. Now that safety, trust and solid ground have been established and the seeds of positive change, self-love and new skills have been planted and nurtured, the therapist’s job is to act as a Guide to help the client to connect to her inner wisdom and tap into her own internal guidance system. The suffering caused by years of substance abuse, traumatic experiences and lack of safety can keep her from trusting her inner voice and connecting with her soul.

By healing and attending to those needs, our inner guide, or voice, will return and will become stronger and more confident with time. Although the primary therapist will act as a Guide at times, the ultimate goal is for each woman to access their own “inner knowing.” This stage is often about the building of the empowered self and the practice of listening to our soul-self instead of the small-self or the neurotic ego.

There are many ways to begin to access this inner voice, such as through a shamanic journey, or by accessing our WISE mind through DBT skills, or maybe a profound and transformational breathwork experience, or even through acts of self-compassion throughout each day. Each woman will access their own inner Guide more and more as they tune inwards and pause to allow their inner voice to be heard again and again.

All of our holistic therapists and practitioners will encourage each client in the development of self-knowledge, self-esteem, and self-compassion and help them connect with and cultivate trust in their own inner Guide, throughout their recovery journey at Villa Kali Ma. This helps facilitate the progress towards the main goal of: women will leave treatment feeling like she is now Guided by a higher power, and now trusts herself to make the right decisions for her life and future.

In turn, her self-confidence will further develop during case management sessions where, together with her case manager, she will create an individualized discharge plan that supports her continued recovery after transitioning from Villa Kali Ma. Overall, throughout treatment, individual therapy sessions are a place for each client to be seen, heard, and validated through numerous different lenses within all the stages of Guardian, Gardener, and Guide.

These different lenses allow each woman to identify what they need to feel safe, what they need to trust themselves, what needs to be released, and they need to do to attain true lasting freedom from trauma, substance use disorders, and all of the underlying pain. Through the development and realization of one’s own inner strength and the power to make healthy choices, true and lasting transformation can be attained.


What is Individual Therapy?

a-woman-practicing-yoga-outside-near-the-waterIndividual Therapy is a form of psychological counseling that takes place in one-on-one sessions. 

Individual Therapy is good for working closely with another person in a context of high trust, safety, and confidentiality.

There are many different kinds of Individual Therapy. Some types of therapy are shorter term and very structured, with specified outcomes that can be achieved in a matter of months. Others are more fluid and open-ended, creative, and/or body-based. The type of therapy you should choose depends really on you, what you’re looking to heal, and what approach to healing feels positive and right for you.

Individual Therapy is highly recommended for anyone who is looking for assistance to look into the contents of one’s own soul, history, mindset, and choices, with the idea of making changes to improve one’s life. 

The special advantage of Individual Therapy is the chance to form a healthy bond with a safe other, which will be unlike other relationships in one’s life. The key difference is that this relationship is all about helping you to release your burdens and find ways to get what you need to be able to be yourself more comfortably and successfully in this often challenging world. 

People seek Individual Therapy for a variety of reasons, ranging from problems at work, marital or relationship struggles, addiction, mental health issues, self-defeating patterns, trauma, and life-specific phases and transitions. 

Outcomes of Individual Therapy typically include better self-esteem and self-acceptance through understanding one’s story with more kindness; a more vibrant, rich emotional life; feeling safer and more relaxed; being oneself more fully in the world; halting self-destructive behaviors; and more fulfilling, positive relationships.

Although Individual Therapy is sometimes characterized as “inner work”, it’s also important to understand that Individual Therapy is about joy. Having a therapist is a way of experiencing positive attention and connection from someone who is capable of helping you change in ways that you want to change. Whatever you would like to shift, you can do so. You can have more joy, meaning, and depth to your life. Individual Therapy is ultimately about the rewarding journey of becoming more of who you really mean to be in this lifetime. 

Individual Therapy is offered at Villa Kali Ma as a part of our integral, holistic treatment program for women with addiction. Individual Therapy is the dedicated place where you can get focused attention specifically on your personal concerns and needs. 

Because of the limited duration of treatment, Individual Therapy at Villa Kali Ma is relatively intensive, brief, and structured, in that it is designed to gently move a woman through the early stages of addiction recovery. After leaving Villa Kali Ma, however, it is highly recommended to continue with Individual Therapy, because of the many gifts that can be received through this work.

Why should you consider Individual Therapy

Many people seek Individual Therapy when outer circumstances seem to be falling apart, for example due to one’s own or a loved one’s addiction, or when marriage or family life is troubled. Crisis is often the trigger for seeking help, but is not the only reason people consider Individual Therapy. 

Many people seek help when they realize that they are essentially unhappy and seem unable to make changes on their own to feel better enough. When experiencing distress, in the form of negative thoughts, emotions, self-destructive behaviors, or even mysterious physical pains, it is enormously supportive to work with a therapist for a period of time to resolve what’s going on.  

Individual Therapy is especially recommended for people who survived life-threatening events or come from a difficult childhood background. Many people who experienced abandonment, psychological or physical abuse, violence, neglect, or other kinds of adverse events during childhood suffer heavily as adults due to emotional scars and destructive behavioral adaptations. 

If managing your mental-emotional turmoil takes a significant amount of your time and energy, and especially if it is interfering with your ability to have positive relationships or do well in your career or work life, consider that you would benefit greatly from Individual Therapy. 

Also, if you are self-destructive, through acts of self-harm or through putting yourself in dangerous situations, and/or if you find yourself thinking about suicide, it is vital that you get help right away, as these are serious signs that you are in need of some assistance. If you do not take your own pain seriously, it will escalate and become more dramatic and potentially damaging.

It can be hard to know that we deserve help, and to believe that help will work, but both of those thoughts are part of our wounding itself. It is our low self-worth and habit of self-denial that tells us we don’t need or merit help. The pessimism we feel about anything or anyone helping us stem from our past experiences of chronic, unaddressed emotional pain. 

It can be hard to recognize and validate that we are indeed wounded enough to need psychotherapy, but it is an act of great self-kindness and courage to decide to look into your own healing. 

As a part of your decision, consider that the emotional support, compassionate witnessing, and help deciding how to move through our lives offered by Individual Therapy is something that most people require in some form or another in order to feel ok. Not everyone goes to Individual Therapy to meet those needs, but they are universal human needs nevertheless.  

How does Individual Therapy help

a-woman-holding-a-locket-on-a-rock-outsideIndividual Therapy helps one’s inner world to balance, heal, and function more harmoniously, so that we feel peace and safety, joy and lovability in the privacy of our own souls. 

It also helps us make outer changes in our behavior, so that we are able to better get our needs met, and experience more success in work and relationships. 

When we are going through difficult life transitions, Individual Therapy can be an adjunct support to help us feel strengthened and reinforced, able to face what we need to face and do what we need to do. 

Individual Therapy helps provides a space in which we can see ourselves in a humane, kind light. Through sharing our insides with a trained, compassionate professional who provides reflection and guides us to see ourselves better, we understand our inner needs and behaviors more clearly. We are able to see why we make the choices we do, and how those choices do or do not work well to give us the results we’d like to have. 

Frequently, Individual Therapy helps by making us aware of inner conflicts, places where one side of our nature may be battling another. We start to see the ways in which we are operating psychologically according to old, often self-conflicting programs and scripts that were formed a long time ago in a specific set of circumstances, but which may not be working well anymore. 

For example, a learned behavior of keeping quiet in group settings, or giving in to any argument, may have worked well to keep us safe and get our needs met in the context of our childhood. These same ways of being may be problematic in our work lives and in our marriages. 

Through giving us chances to see and understand the true origin and purpose of our behaviors, Individual Therapy helps us gain ahold of ourselves and make different choices from a place of empowerment. 

Individual Therapy works in particular by helping us to see where we have been patterned in a kind of victimized position, where we can feel powerless or helpless over certain ways of thinking or being that feel like we cannot change them. We may be aware that we have low self-esteem, we’re a perfectionist, or we can’t open up emotionally, but without understanding that these behaviors are changeable as well as experiencing our own power to change them, we may feel trapped in our own ways of being. 

Individual Therapy helps us change by realizing how our behaviors reflect coping mechanisms and biological responses developed as survival strategies. When we identify that a certain coping mechanism has outgrown its usefulness, we can then select a new, healthier coping mechanism that does the same job for us as the old one, but doesn’t cost us so much happiness and vitality. 

The benefits of Individual Therapy

The following benefits are connected to Individual Therapy: 

  • Improved self-image and understanding of one’s own life purpose, place in the world, and importance. Deeper feelings of meaning and joy in the journey of life
  • Greater resilience to handle difficult times, flexibility and strength to rise to meet challenges
  • Greater ability to set and achieve personal goals, change life circumstances, and activate more of one’s potential 
  • Shift to a more positive mindset, which improves mood and creates emotional health and stability
  • Improvements in one’s ability to regulate and manage one’s state of nervous system arousal, so as to experience more peace, relaxation, and positive sensations in the body
  • Better self-understanding and insight, including ability to take responsibility for one’s mistakes, learn from feedback from loved ones about how our behavior impacts another
  • Better self-love, self-acceptance, and self-compassion, accepting one’s own humanity in spite of vulnerability, needs, and flaws
  • Better physical health, including improved immune system, reduction in stress-related illnesses
  • Better emotional intimacy skills, including being able to be loving and close to another person while also having boundaries, needs, and differences between you
  • Better, more effective and harmonious interactions with family members and work colleagues

Individual Therapy options


Individual Therapy is frequently provided in private practice offices, and depending where you are located, you should be able to find a therapist in your area to meet with in person. Additionally, more and more people are offering therapy online, so if you are in a more remote setting this does not have to be a barrier. 

There are several different kinds of Individual Therapy, and the practitioner offering therapy will likely share on their website about their modality, as well as be able to answer in depth questions about how the method works. 

If you know that you have a trauma background, it is smart to consider whether you might want to start with working in a targeted way on specific experiences you need help resolving. If this is the case, working with a therapist who has a specialty in one or more trauma-informed approaches can be helpful. Looking for someone who works with Internal Family Systems (also called Parts Work), Somatic Experiencing, and/or EMDR can be a good start.

If you would like to work in a shorter term, more structured way, you might like to work with your mindset and outlook with a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist, who will help you make changes to your perceptions, beliefs, and choices. Cognitive Therapy can be effective for a shorter-term path to adjusting how you feel by adjusting how you look at things. 

Solution-Focused Therapy, Narrative Therapy, and Existential Therapy are additional specializations that might appeal to you. Above all, however, it is important to get a feeling that you will feel safe and comfortable with the person offering the modality. Do not override your instincts or talk yourself into starting therapy with someone if it doesn’t feel quite right. It is ok to shop around and try a few first sessions before deciding on a practitioner who feels right for you. 

If you are struggling with addiction, it is strongly recommended to start with some form of addiction treatment (perhaps through treatment with Villa Kali Ma) in parallel with any Individual Therapy work as this will vastly increase the power and likelihood of success in your Individual Therapy work. Addiction has a way of interfering with our attempts to get healthy and you will experience setbacks and frustration if the substance abuse patterning is not addressed at the same time.

Villa Kali Ma provides Individual Therapy as a part of our treatment programs. If you decide to receive help for your substance addiction and/or mental health struggles with us, you will be provided with a number of tailored one on one sessions with a Primary Therapist as a part of setting you up for success on your journey to health.

Most important to understand is that you, your pain, and your presence and happiness are actually very important, even if you do not yet see that about yourself. You do deserve to get help to feel better enough to be your real self more fully here and now. Getting support will benefit everyone around you, from your family members to perfect strangers. It will also help you have a more meaningful, fulfilling, joyful, interesting journey through the human experience.  

I don't believe it to be an exaggeration to say that Villa Kali Ma saved my life.
I couldn't have asked for a better environment to heal and redirect onto a path towards true living.


This place completely changed my life. I needed a drastic change from the typical recovery environment in order to stay sober long-term. I can honestly say that I love who I am today and I am forever grateful for Villa Kali Ma!


I am so grateful I found Villa Kali Ma, it has truly changed my life. Kay is awesome and the entire team who works there is absolutely amazing. If you need treatment, I highly recommend making this the start to your recovery.


Villa Kali Ma is an in-network provider with Anthem BCBS, Multiplan, First Health, and an
authorized out-of-network provider with TRICARE accepting most PPO plans or out-of-network benefits.
Call (760) 350-3131 for information on cost and payment options.