Individual counseling can involve an adult or adolescent. Individual counseling can be helpful in addressing a wide variety of issues including grief, adjustment, depression, anxiety, stress, etc. Individual counseling can assist a person in identifying unhealthy cycles they might engage in that are impeding progress or growth. Individual counseling can also assist a person in processing past experiences that are painful. I always approach the individual as the expert on their own lives, and assist them in developing strategies to overcome obstacles by highlighting their own self-defeating behaviors, and their own strengths.
Couples counseling is for any partner relationships. You do not need to be married to be in couples counseling, but you do need to be in a committed relationship. I counsel heterosexual couples, and same-sex couples. Couples counseling is different than individual counseling in that the primary client is the "relationship" itself. As a couples counselor my job is to advocate for the relationship, and assist each partner in prioritizing the relationship in order to achieve a more healthy and sustainable partnership. Couples counseling can consist of meeting with me together, and at times individually in order to address issues that are present.
Family counseling is for any family unit. This can involve a parent or parents, and a minor child, or several children. Family counseling can assist families dealing with adjustments to change. Families undergo many changes that can be related to careers, finances, moves, developmental stages of a child, medical issues, marital status. All these stressors involve the family unit adjusting, which can be difficult to do. Family counseling can offer a safe and controlled space for discussion of feelings and development of solutions.