How many therapy sessions will I need?
Most of my new clients ask me: “How many therapy sessions will I need?” To which I usually reply: “Somewhere between a few and many”. It depends on whether you align with the ‘illness’ or ‘wellness’ model of therapy. Hopefully, this article will answer your question:
It depends on your goals for therapy
Do you want help or support getting over one particular issue in your life, e.g. the break up a relationship, or perhaps to alleviate some unpleasant symptoms? This is like going to see a doctor about an illness. In this scenario, I would recommend just as many sessions as you need until you start to feel more stabilized or until your symptoms are reduced.
But if you follow the ‘wellness’ model then your therapy is more like going to the gym. It is an ongoing work in progress. You go to therapy to work through things as they arise, develop deeper connections with those you care about, and generally improve your quality of life.
We can look deeper into your core beliefs, the patterns of your relationships and your past. All of which unconsciously affects your life in the present day.
It depends on how deeply you want to learn about yourself and the way you inhabit this world
Do you just want to put on an emotional band-aid? Or do you want to examine the wound, carefully treating it so that it will heal and cause less pain in your life? Not everyone is ready to do this. It takes courage, time and insight. If you want to learn about the most fascinating subject on the planet – yourself – then give me a call.
Negative thoughts, unhelpful beliefs, self-sabotaging patterns – these are all things that we can look into in long-term work. But it’s not a quick fix.
If you have grown into a way of ‘being’ or a pattern of behaving during the 20/30/40/50 years that you’ve been on this planet, then it’s unlikely we’ll be able to eradicate that in the click of my fingers.
As it took time to create those patterns of thinking, so will it take time to undo them, learning new neural pathways, trying out new ways of behaving.
Some clients stay in treatment for six months, some for a few years because they find they get so much out of it.
I created the following image to help you understand how might feel after a certain amount of sessions. The risk is that if you stop too soon, then you may lapse back into familiar (unhelpful) patterns when the next trigger occurs. (But you can always come back and see me and work on your ‘stuff’ again.)
If you would like to ask me what Counselling or somatic psychotherapy is all about, I offer a FREE 15 minute discovery session by phone for new clients.
How frequently do I need therapy sessions? Weekly? Fortnightly?
I like to suggest that all new clients come to see me weekly for a few sessions, just so we can make some headway. Especially so if they are in a crisis. In the beginning, it’s all about getting to know each other so that I know and understand you, and you know and trust me and it helps if we keep some momentum going.
After that initial phase, I prefer clients to attend fortnightly so that we continue to make progress. You are learning a new skill, just like learning a new sport or musical instrument, so keeping a regular session is key to your progression. If you would like to reserve the same time slot each week or fortnight please let me know and I can book it for you. But this depends on your personal circumstances.
It depends on your personal circumstances
How many therapy sessions you have also depends on your circumstances: your availability, your finances, your personal situation.
Sometimes people take a break and come back to me later when they have more time and money, or if they have another issue crop up that they need help with. I’m always happy to see a familiar face return and hear what they’ve been up to.
How do I know when it’s time to end therapy?
When you think you’ve achieved all you wanted, tell me about it in your session and we can discuss a closure session so that you walk away feeling empowered and good about yourself. (The opposite of how you would feel if you just walked away).