How long will therapy take?
This is an important question and not always easy to answer. Certain focused problems, like panic disorder or simple phobias, can often be treated within four to eight sessions. More complex problems can be helped either short or long term. How long your treatment will take depends on a combination of factors including your goals, what obstacles -- both internal and external -- there are to change, and how safe you feel with your therapist - whether the two of you are a good match. The work you do in and between sessions, which will often involve changing entrenched ways of doing things, and facing aspects of yourself and your life you may have been unaware of, will also effect the length of therapy. While most problems cannot be resolved within three sessions, you and your therapist should have a sense by the third session of whether you will be able to work effectively together. It is important that you are open with your therapist about how things are going in the treatment; it is ultimately your decision to stop therapy at any point.