Therapy – how many sessions to fix….?
Therapy – how many sessions to fix….?

As a therapist, one of the questions I’m most often asked is, ‘how many sessions will it take to fix…?’. Unfortunately, the best answer I can give you would be, ‘how long is a piece of string?’. Entering therapy is a deeply personal experience.

Everybody’s different

Every person and his or her life experiences are unique, as well as the specific circumstances that have led to the issues you’re seeking help with. What takes 3 sessions for one person can take 6 sessions for someone else. It will also depend whether the presented issues are a result of a one-off event or part of a deeply embedded pattern of behaviour that started at a young age. In these cases it will take more time to develop the new patterns of thought and behaviour that will lead to the results you’re looking for.

Therapy is something you work with, not something that is ‘done to you’

Therapy is not only about ‘fixing’ things but about allowing us to enter into a deeper relationship with ourselves; that can mean facing ‘stuff’ that may be uncomfortable but ultimately needs dealt with. If this doesn’t happen then we just bury our heads in sand, something we humans are pretty good at. Therapy allows for introspection and personal growth too.

Having a good rapport with your therapist is of the utmost importance – the client needs to trust the therapist and needs to feel accepted and understood. Building a rapport may take time so sometimes the first few sessions may focus on that. This means gaining an understanding of what lies at the root of the issue you’re experiencing and having you trust me enough to work with me on it. You have to trust a therapist before you can open up to them to give them the tools that will help you make the changes you seek. Therapy is a two-way process; the client and the therapist need to work as a team. No therapist can do all the work for you or instinctively understand what you need without your cooperation. With hypnotherapy – as with life – there are no magic fixes.

We live in a fast paced society where we expect quick results and treat a lot of things in our lives as a commodity. We often shop around and want to get the best deal and that’s fine. However, therapy is not a commodity but rather – as I’ve already mentioned earlier – a deeply personal experience. It’s not like buying a car or a washing machine. Just because you pay for therapy, it does not mean it will deliver the results all by its own. Personal effort and engagement with the process are needed too.

It’s about the right therapist, not the most convenient therapist

Not every therapist can work with every client and sometimes the two just don’t match. That’s OK though. It’s worth finding out who will work for you, because then it can be transformational both for the client as well as the therapist. At the end of the day we all learn from each other.

What will happen when you come to see me?

The first session focuses on me getting to know you better and talking about any past circumstances that can be related to your issue. It’s about building trust so you feel comfortable with me as a therapist. I may also do a mini hypnosis session or some imagery work if time permits. The first session tends to be the longest and lasts on average from 1.5 up to 2 hours.

I can totally understand that this can be unnerving, baring your soul to a complete stranger. As a part of my psychotherapy training, I had to undergo my own therapy also so I know what it is like to be in that therapy chair. It’s important that therapists face and deal with their own issues too so they can be 100% present with their clients . Moreover, everything that I therapeutically use with my clients, I have experienced as a client too. I feel this is important for congruence. I would never ask you to do or try anything that I have not tried myself.

I have my own premises so I’m able to charge people by the session, not by the hour. For me this is very important as it means your appointment can be guided by the needs of the session, not by the clock. The average session lasts about an hour. Traditionally, therapy or counselling sessions tend to last 50 minutes but my approach is more flexible.

At the end of your session I’ll usually also give you some homework to do before the next one. As I said, you’ll need to work with me to achieve the results you want to see – so that means engaging with the process.

Are you ready to make the changes you want?

If you’ve read through this blog and feel that the way I work could be right for you, please take the next step and contact me to arrange a session.

Photo by Apionid under Creative Commons license