So, what happens in therapy?
1-hour sessions usually only last about 50 minutes. This gives your therapist 10 minutes to complete notes and planning related to your sessions.
Counselling or therapy sessions begin with an initial meeting with your therapist. During that meeting, your therapist will ask you about your concerns, complete a detailed historical interview, and ask about your treatment goals. This first session is used to get to know each other, and to make a plan for moving forward.
During sessions, you may be asked to talk about events in your life, and related thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. Your therapist will help you to view your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours from different perspectives, and help you to process big emotions and events in your life. Sometimes your therapist will guide the conversation; other times you will drive the discussion.
How long will I have to be in therapy?
This depends on the severity and complexity of the problems you are dealing with, the therapeutic approach, and the strength of the relationship between you and your therapist. Brief therapy or solution-focused therapy aim to provide you with skills and strategies to face specific challenges and usually have a set number of sessions (typically up to 12). More serious or pervasive problems require longer-term therapy, and can range from 12 to 20 sessions, or longer. Therapy is a unique process for each person.
While you have the right to end your therapy at any time, it is advisable to discuss this with your therapist first. It is best to end when both you and your therapist feel you have made satisfactory progress with your goals. Typically, you might move from weekly sessions, to bi-weekly, to monthly, and eventually be discharged as a regular client and see your therapist only as needed.