After the initial appointments, the general goal of the next phase is to go deeper beyond the surface to understand your challenges, struggles, when and where they show up, your history, past therapy etc. This takes time. After all, your difficulties didn’t start overnight.
We want to understand what you are experiencing, how you got here, what you have or have not tried, and what will likely work best to help you. If it makes sense, coping strategies may be explored as well.
The consistency and frequency that you attend therapy appointments matter! Countless research studies and decades of clinical outcome reviews have proven that weekly sessions are key to clinical outcome success. Just like anything else in life, consistency is key. A person doesn’t reach their goals through erratic and inconsistent behavior.
Meeting regularly on a weekly basis will help build safety and trust, which is essential for the work to progress on a deeper level. Often, meeting less frequently results in a ‘catch up’ type of session and does not allow for the time, space, and emotional capacity needed to address what goes on beneath the surface.
To make the most of each session, you are encouraged to come to each session open and ready to talk about what has been on your mind and what you would like to work on or address.
Because therapy often involves discussing unpleasant aspects of your life, you may experience uncomfortable feelings like sadness, guilt, anger, frustration, loneliness, and helplessness. Usually, growth cannot occur until past issues are experienced and confronted, often causing distressing feelings.
The good news is that therapy has also been shown to have benefits for people who go through it. Therapy often leads to better relationships, solutions to specific problems, and significant reductions in feelings of distress.
The success of therapy depends upon the efforts of both your therapist and you. While your therapist is there to guide you and point you in the direction of growth, healing, and change, you are the one who decides what you want to do with the different perspectives and strategies offered. It can be an empowering process to take what is done in therapy and implement these practices in your everyday life!
Therapy can last any time between a year to many more, as long as you are still progressing from our work. The length of therapy depends on what you want and need, and what you want/need can be fluid and dynamic. Healing and personal growth is not strict or predictable. You can start off by wanting to address something very specific (e.g. “I want to feel less anxious”), but through our work together could realize a deeper meaning to these anxious symptoms (e.g. “I feel anxious because I am terrified of intimacy” to “I’ve had very familiar experiences of being emotionally suffocated when I was close to people”).
Realizing these deeper long-standing issues may then shape the focus and length of treatment. Regardless of why you are seeking therapy and how long you hope to be in treatment, it is important to remember that your thoughts and input are invaluable to me, and the pace and length of treatment will always be a collaborative discussion.
Get started with these 3 steps.