Life has more downs than ups at the moment and you’re ready to get some help. But you’re worried about how long it will take to feel better. How many counselling sessions will you need? How much will it cost? And how can you make the most of each therapy session?
You know you are struggling and have decided therapy would help, but you still have a lot of questions:
How much time and money will I need to invest in therapy?
People can have anything from one therapy session to years depending on what they need – everyone is different. You are in control of how many counselling sessions you have and can stop when you want to. If you are finding life difficult and think counselling would help, it is worth investing the time, money and energy so that you can move on with your life. If you have a particular issue that you want to change, talk to your counsellor about it to get an idea of whether this can happen in a few weeks, or whether it is likely to take months or longer. It helps to be able to plan – you can always agree a certain number of sessions and work from there.
How long will it take for me to feel better?
As a rule of thumb, the longer you have been struggling, the longer it will take to feel better. I often suggest you come for six sessions and then we can review what’s changed and whether you want to carry on. We can then agree another set number of sessions, or make it more open-ended, depending on what you want.
How will I know when it’s time to stop counselling?
If you have agreed a certain number of sessions, you often have the option to continue if you feel it would benefit you. Your therapist will make sure that your ending session is helpful for you. If you stop because of financial difficulty, you can come back when you have more money. For longer term therapy your counsellor will help you to decide when you are better enough to stop, and work with you find the best way for you to finish.
Counselling can open a Pandora’s Box of feelings and memories – here are some things that might help if you are worried about losing control:
- The therapist’s job is to make sure that you are safe and help you keep calm. Look for counsellors with trauma training so that they know how to help you regulate.
- You don’t have to share anything you don’t want to. You can say ‘No, I don’t want to do that now’ to your therapist!
- I work by helping people with how counselling works – I won’t leave you not knowing where you are or not knowing what to do now. And also, it’s not just talking!
6 tips to make the most of your counselling (if you are on a budget and want to get the best results from your sessions)
1) Take time before the session to prepare
Have a ponder about what’s going on for you now while you’re travelling to your session; or take 10 minutes quiet time if you are seeing your counsellor by video or phone.
2) Take time after the session
Maybe take a walk for 10 mins to ground yourself, or write something down, or save a voice recording. This helps you to come back into the world safely and helps you to process any changes that have happened.
3) See if you can keep track of your feelings in between sessions
What emotions are you feeling? How big or small are they? When do they come and when do they go?
4) Can you take some time out by yourself to explore something from your counselling?
Perhaps you could use paper and pens, or make a collage (on paper or digital), or find some leaves in the park to symbolise part of what’s happening.
5) Notice what’s changing
If things stay the same, can you take a step back and reflect on the what’s staying the same?
6) Go to all your sessions if you possibly can
Weekly sessions help things to move along faster. Bring your anything you’ve done in the week if you want to. Remember that most therapists have a cancellation policy, so make sure you check so you don’t end up paying for sessions you couldn’t make.
In this blog we’ve explored
- that you are in total control of how many sessions you have
- the importance of communicating with your therapist
- and how to make the most of each therapy session and get the most from your experience.
I hope you’ve found this useful and that the therapist you choose helps you find positive change.
And if you’d like to work with me, email me now to find out how I can help you.