How many therapy sessions do I need?

If you are ready to embark on the beautiful journey of self-discovery, congratulations! You are taking a step towards self-improvement. Counselling A.K.A therapy could play a big role in that and that is why you are exploring the different options out there. Often times potential clients will reach out to understand what they should be expecting in therapy but also wonder how many therapy sessions they need. Here we will try to address that question for you.

Self-discovery, as you might know, is a process to uncover, understand, and maybe even correct the way you would like to approach situations and emotions. Sounds simple but we do have factors that you have experienced in your lives that have shaped the way you think and behave. You can now imagine, it can be very different from one individual to another, one issue to another, and one therapy style to the other. With innumerable such combinations, this makes it very hard to precisely tell how many sessions you need.

Let’s narrow down on this by the style of therapy. I have been practicing the Cognitive Behaviour Therapy style (What is CBT?) extensively with my clients who are solution-driven and need activity-based approach to their sessions. This style of therapy is also a great option when there is a limitation on the number of therapy sessions you want to take and want to get to the root cause faster.

Even though CBT is effective in getting to the root of the issue faster, it does require a commitment of 7-8 consecutive weekly sessions to explore and conceptualize the issues that are affecting your well-being. Here your therapist is able to discover, analyze, and start suggesting the various resources, tools, and activities that will work for your specific case. Think of this as a customized prescription for you. These tools and activities can also be termed under ‘healthy coping strategies’ which help you to manage your emotions effectively and immediately.

As an example: When you are facing issues that result in low self-esteem at work, your therapist will likely explore other facets of your life that have forced you to think and feel a certain way. Some aspects that are most commonly explored will be childhood, relationship with parents, siblings, and significant others, current coping strategies, etc. To understand all these parts of your life at a depth that’s valuable to extract information out of and conceptualize for you cannot be achieved by one or two 50-minute sessions. This is why we spend some time upfront to assess your past and present situation but rest assured, we will come to place where you will be able to challenge your unhelpful thoughts. These sessions will involve resources, tools and strategies that will help you to be more mindful of how certain actions and responses leave you feeling low on self-esteem and create that awareness around your emotions and thoughts to actively confront that.

After experiencing and applying some of the strategies you learned from your initial sessions, you can choose to practice these strategies by yourself or if you still feel like you would like to practice or share new insights with your therapist you can continue to have monthly/bi-monthly sessions to check-in how you are doing or to reinforce strategies that you have worked on. It is also completely healthy to have a check-in sessions year after year with your therapist.

It is important to note that we have used a very simple example here to let you know what therapy looks like and as mentioned earlier the process of therapy varies from individual to individuals and issue to issue.

If you are contemplating starting therapy you can use this as a rough guide to what to expect and whenever you feel ready, do not hesitate to reach out to me at zainab@cheerupcs.com Looking forward to helping you through your journey.

Warmly,

Zainab

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