How long will therapy take?
Length of therapy depends on the personal needs of the client. Some clients require a relatively short amount of time (up to 100 sessions) for therapeutic change to occur, where many clients require a substantially longer time (several years). Some clients work on themselves for a length of time, take a break and come back for more work when they decide they want to experience change at a deeper level. Clients are free to determine when they feel they have reached a point where they are ready to discontinue. It is also important and respectful to consider a child’s thoughts and feelings about readiness to discontinue therapy. Once it has been determined to discontinue therapy, it is very important for both adults and children to have a closure session at the end of therapy. Endings are difficult for most human beings and it is important to take the time to acknowledge the work accomplished and the special relationship that exists between client and therapist.
When will I begin to see changes?
Regardless of whether a client is a child or an adult, the therapeutic process tends to stir up thoughts and emotions so that they can be explored. This part of therapy can look very chaotic to the outside eye and sometimes is interpreted as things getting worse instead of better. This part of the process usually lasts a relatively short amount of time. When working with children, it is helpful for parents to also be reading about parenting and experimenting with different ways of approaching the parent-child relationship. Generally, change will be seen in therapy before it is noticeable outside of therapy. Some clients report noticing change as early as 6 weeks, however, it can be 20 weeks or more before significant change begins to emerge.
How often are sessions scheduled?
Once a week sessions at the beginning of therapy is recommended in order to have the optimal opportunity to create a trusting therapeutic relationship where thoughts and feelings can be explored in a warm, safe, and unconditionally caring environment. Once this relationship is established and progress is experienced, client and therapist can talk about shifting to meeting on an alternating weekly basis.
How often do you meet with parents?
Frequency and length of parent consultations are based on specific needs of the family. Parents are always welcome to schedule separate appointments to work on parenting skills, and many parents elect this option rather than taking up part of their child’s session time. For those parents who do not come in for separate appointments, every 2 to 3 weeks, a 15-minute consultation for feedback regarding a child’s progress is conducted at the beginning or end of a child’s session.