And you? When will you begin the long journey into yourself?
I love when someone who is new to therapy calls my practice. They are generally full of nervous energy, curiosity and questions, lots and lots of questions. These questions usually range from how does this work to how often do we meet to how long is a clinical hour? The general answer to those questions is that we meet weekly for 50-minutes to process what’s going on in their life. But, what I’m asked most often, and I think this is partly because of the popularity of coaching and usually a set time line with this type of work, people want to know exactly how long it will take until they feel better.
Exact numbers aside (because there aren’t any except that most people tend to stay in therapy 6-12 months), here’s what I typically say:
- Therapy is a process- this means that there’s no exact time line. It’s a personal and personalized journey to help you feel better.
- Setting clear goals is important- this helps us know where we’re going and what we’re working towards.
- One goal isn’t usually enough- people may think they are coming to therapy for one specific, often surface reason, but through the deeper work we do together, they come to realize it’s actually a bigger shift they’re typically looking for in their life.
- Is the issue situational or in most/all areas in your life? A situational issue is often more short-term, solution-focused work, while an issue that’s showing up in most/all areas in your life is often more long-term, deeper work.
- Homework- clients who are willing and able to do work outside of their sessions generally reach their goals faster than someone who doesn’t do any work outside of their sessions.
So, there isn’t a definitive time frame as to how long therapy might take for you to feel better. Sorry! As every person has his or her own set of unique issues, it simply takes as long as it takes!