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  • Writer's pictureDana Qablawi

How Long Do I Need To Stay in Therapy?

a woman sitting on a couch in therapy session

The word “therapy” can often be a daunting and heavy word and for many, it is associated with long-term commitment and costs. The questions of “how many sessions will I need?” or “how often do I need to come in?” are not uncommon for us to hear. In fact, during the intakes we conduct they are typically the number one question being asked.

I just want to start off by saying that every client who walks through our doors is overcoming their own personal challenges and every client’s path that has led them to us is different. That is the same concept behind every client's individual counselling journey. There is no set magic number of sessions or length of time to stay in therapy. Counselling has no defined timeframe, instead we focus on your personal growth and success and not on how often you come in to see us.

There are a few factors that do play a role in the length of your treatment: such as treatment methods, goals, past history, and your commitment. Sometimes you may come in to see us for support on one specific topic and then discover you have different topics you would like to work through. That is completely okay! We are never going to time you or set a limit. The main thing we want to see is progress. I want to reiterate this again because it is so important, everyone’s journey is different so that means everyone’s recovery is going to be different.

How Do I Know I Am Improving?

Now that we have discussed that everyone will be experiencing counselling differently, let’s discuss how we can tell we are making positive changes. The progress you make is often dependent on how much time and work you are willing to put in! If we break this down a little more, let’s say you have an assignment due for school and you have not even looked at it or put any effort towards it. Odd’s are you are not going to gain much knowledge on the topic or receive the grade you were hoping for. Same goes if you put in extra work, you will receive a higher grade. The same can be said with counselling.

While we do work with you during sessions to come up with new coping skills and strategies, a lot of the work actually comes from your day-to-day experiences. What is being worked on in sessions is to help support you through future events. Being able to take what is being taught or discussed in sessions and apply them into your everyday life is exactly what we want to see!

If we go back to the school example, I know you have had the thought of “when am I ever going to use this again” because I have absolutely had that thought. Now being out of school, I can recognize all the times those “random” things I learned have actually been very useful. Especially with math, and I never thought I would be using half the things I learned. We want you to be able to take what you are being taught to then handle new situations in a positive and healthy way.

How Often Should I Come In?

This is another very common question! When you come in for that first session, you can absolutely discuss this with your clinician and together come up with a frequency that is right for you. How often you come in can vary from person-to-person and it can even vary with yourself! Let’s say you typically come in twice a month but have had an event that you would like to receive some additional support with, you can absolutely reach out and book in an additional session. We are here to help you in every way, shape, and form we can!

Thanks for reading,

Dana Qablawi

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