I am often asked by clients who have a look of frustration in their eyes, “how much longer is therapy going to take?” It is very common for clients to be frustrated with the therapy process when they seek help for anxiety or depression. Sometimes it feels like an uphill battle. Many see improvements for a while, only to backslide a week later. It is not a smooth road for everyone and it can try your patience.
We live in a “quick fix” culture and most of us are used to finding quick solutions and moving on with our day. The process of therapy doesn’t work like a quick fix. To move the process along its important to build a therapeutic relationship with your Therapist and feel you can trust them with your feelings. The more open and honest you can be the more it will help you in healing. If you don’t feel comfortable with your Therapist and don’t feel you have developed a good relationship, this will hinder your progress.
There is no specific answer that is appropriate for everyone’s situation. The answer to that question is ‘it depends” which can I know can get some eye rolls or feelings of frustration in people. It depends on your age, if you are younger you will have less years of unwinding bad habits, unresolved issues, traumas and emotions. There is less to work through so therapy may take less time. If you are much older it can take longer especially if you never have had therapy before. Just remember that decades of unresolved issues aren’t going to be overcome in a month.
For clients who are only dealing with one issue or more surface level issue like dealing with a difficult boss, and have no major trauma history, therapy can take much less time. I’ve seen clients like this before and issues are resolved in 6-8 sessions.
Your motivation in therapy can also make a huge difference in the amount of time you spend in therapy as well. The more you put it into it the more you get out of it. I’ve had clients who go above and beyond with their therapeutic homework and do more than I ask between sessions. They make the most progress! You can’t expect to just come to therapy and not do anything outside of it for real change and relief to happen. In order for things to improve you do have to make some lifestyle changes.
For clients who are willing to do engage in Brainspotting, they can resolve issues quicker than just talk therapy. For those not aware, Brainspotting is based on the idea that where you look affects how you feel. Brainspotting uses your field of vision to connect to “brainspots” that are held to help you processing and release stored negative or traumatic experiences from the brain and helps affected individuals heal from within. Brainspotting is effective and so helpful for anxiety, depression, trauma, grief or just about any issue you are dealing with. Read more here
So in summary the length of treatment depends on:
· The Therapeutic Relationship
· Your age
· Your prior counseling experience
· The number of traumas you have experienced
· Your level of motivation to follow through with therapeutic homework
· Your willingness to try different modalities like Brainspotting
Just know that therapy is a process and if you hang in there you more than likely will see some positive results and help for your anxiety or depression! If at any time you feel like you are not making progress, its important to verbalize that to your Therapist so they can help determine ways to help you find another way to healing.
If you are struggling with anxiety, depression or recovery from trauma and seeking help, Path to Hope Counseling is available! Reach out today for a free 20 minute consultation! 984-500-2021.