It is invariable the most common question my clients ask. However, this question often is entwined with whether they will get better or how long it will take for them to get better.
What is the length and frequency of sessions?
Each session may last up to 45 minutes; this allows for working on the immediate difficulties and focusing on the objectives, giving time to process the achievements and prepare for the following session.
The length of time in therapy is determined by the depth of the problem and whether a problem has generalised to other parts of your life. Attending once a week ensures continuity and a time framework to get in touch with your body and mind. Therapy is driven to notice how you feel about a certain thought, feeling, or situation. This process gives you the tools to find the answers within yourself.
The role of the therapist is crucial as our experience influences the rhythm of the psychological work undertaken. Many sessions act like a medication in the sense of containing difficult moments and therapy is implemented at calmer more controlled periods.
What are the signs that therapy is helping?
The sign that therapy is helping and that you are improving is about you noticing a change in your state of mind, that negative thoughts are receding or that you can act on things that before seemed unachievable. Keeping diaries and notes from each session ensures that a record of progress is kept; otherwise, sometimes clients say that they are better but cannot remember how they got better.
There are several other signs that show therapy is helping, one of them is within the session, some people will cry when certain aspects are addressed, and understanding the basis of the tearfulness is important as it is different to cry out of fear, anger or sadness. When attending therapy some people feel tired afterwards, this is because you release tension and as you relax afterwards tiredness arises. The best sign that you are improving is that you are able to deal with life and that you can solve your daily life situations.
Some clients worry that change may make their lives worst. For example, a client worried that if she felt better her husband will leave her. However, this was a sign of low self-confidence, which was addressed in therapy, making the worry go away.
How do I know when therapy is completed?
The end of the treatment is marked by the resolutions of the difficulties, being able to get on with your life, and that your feelings do not stop your actions.
Discussing the treatment length is important to help the motivation going. Normally is talked about throughout the course of treatment.
How does affect the length of the treatment?
We know from clinical experience and research that there is a positive relationship between treatment length and clinical outcomes such that more individuals will show significant change or recovery with increasing treatment length. It is therefore important that you have a sufficient amount of treatment and reasonable expectations for treatment length before deciding treatment is not working.
So how long does it typically take for treatment to work?
Psychological problems such as anxiety have a faster improvement rate than more complex problems, i.e., depression or personality problems because they may require dealing with more parts of self.
In addition, the most immediate impact can be achieved during assessment as sometimes knowing that your personal situation can be resolved acts as a healer. For example, a man consulted because of suffering depression for years that has been apparently difficult to resolve. The assessment showed that the cause of his depression was related to a developmental disorder such as Aspergers’ syndrome that he had no knowledge of, making him feel he did not fit in. Diagnoses and formulation of his problem lifted his depression and allowed him to face his problems better, although he still attended therapy for a while.
You do not need to attend years of therapy to get better, on the contrary, you will find improvements after the 3rd session, and begin to get better after the 3rd month. However, you may need to attend longer to establish the improvements and see that the improvements in your emotions and behaviours are maintained.
What is the first step in therapy?
The answer is simple but most people are not aware of it:
Find a therapist and get in touch now! Call Dr Sanders on 0203 488 7384 or email her with your questions.