"How long will I have to be in counseling/therapy?"
It depends. Significant progress and entire goals can be reached from only attending a few sessions of counseling, or what is considered solution focused therapy. This approach is brief, person-centered, and addresses specific complaints to emphasize health, positive reframing, and a rapid resolution of problems. This therapeutic model focuses on identifying a specific goal or area of change, finding out what the individual is doing that is working, and then constructing solutions that can enhance their lives.
Some people may be looking for or need longer term treatment. This can vary from 6 months to a couple or few years. Oftentimes, the focus is to explore complex issues or to gain better understanding and insight, so it may be difficult to initially identify the length of treatment. Having a good clinician will help keep the therapeutic pace, being mindful not to rush the process, while supportively challenging the client. Look for a licensed, experienced counselor, social worker or other mental health professional with training in the treatment approach desired or with the issues seeking to address.
Written by: Daryl Mason, LPC