(From the Downtown Therapy blog. Check it out to see more)


When does it end?

It’s a good question, and there are a few reasons why this is raised:

◊ If you’ve never been in therapy before (i.e. you are starting from scratch and overwhelmed by all of the information you discover) it may be a source of comfort to look for structure; to see if there is a beginning, middle, and end to the process.

◊ Some modes of therapy advertise a structured course, a pre-set number of sessions. Their logic is that, say, after nine sessions, your issue will have been isolated and you will have been handed rational strategies for dealing with said issue. A problem with this approach is: what if that issue isn’t “it”? What if there’s more to it than the “it” you isolated? Also, what if you are suffering from something that doesn’t lend itself to rational strategies (grief for the loss of a loved one, for example)?

◊ You may think that seeing a therapist creates an addiction or crutch which you will never be able to shake, thus endangering your independence.

Whether you are experienced in therapy or not, not many people look forward to the unknown. If you are concerned about “how many sessions”, then this is a conversation you should have with your therapist at the outset (along with standard questions about rates, cancellation fees, and directions to their office).

I can’t tell you from the outset how many sessions you and I will have. It would be foolish of me to do so because each individual is different and each individual has a unique spectrum of concerns they may wish to discuss. However, I do make it clear to my clients that they are in charge of stopping and starting therapy – what good would this process be if that choice were taken away from you?

If you want to see a therapist but are scared of how long it may take, why not find a therapist you think you’d like to see and book an initial session, with no commitment for a follow-up?

Concerned about a therapist’s qualifications? Perhaps you should ask whether they belong to a professional association, such as CAPT, which ensures that its members practice within clear, established ethical guidelines (among which, respectful termination of therapy would fall within).

Remember: if it’s important to you, then it deserves to be raised. If a prospective therapist can’t answer your questions to your satisfaction then it’s probably best that you consider someone else.


(From the Downtown Therapy blog. Check it out to see more)