This varies for everyone. What I usually tell people is in 1-2 sessions, you should start to feel more hopeful. After 3-4 sessions, you should have more insight into why things are as they are. At this point, you should be gaining momentum towards addressing your concerns. By the 5 session, you should be identifying and trying new skills to help move yourself forward.
How can you help me?
As a counselor I am trained to really hear you and help you to hear yourself. I will work with you to identify what is important to you, and what has stood in your way of success. Based on this information, we will develop options together that you can apply towards your areas of opportunities.
The goal is not to dwell on the events of the past, which are actually unchangeable. The goal is to focus on how your negative feelings about the past are affecting you in the present and changing them.
Counseling is never about pointing fingers or assigning blame. Its about helping you to acquire new skills and see new options for handling what has been causing you suffering.
What does successful therapy look and feel like?
Successful counseling feels like something has changed. You feel more hope and self-confidence. As you are trying out new skills and behaviors, they feel like they are working.
Therapy looks successful when other people begin to comment that something about you seems different. Maybe they don’t know what has changed in you, but you feel easier and better to be around. You will also notice that you are having different results from actions that in the past would not have gone as well.
How long will therapy take?
How will I know when I'm done with therapy?
You will feel done. Most of the concerns and anxiety that brought you into therapy will have dissipated. You will have learned coping skills and new behaviors to deal with any issues that may persist. Your counselor should be able to give you feedback about your decision, and discuss whether or not they feel you are ready to terminate. Ultimately the decision is in your hands.
Are our sessions confidential?
Counseling is confidential with only a few exceptions. What we talk about remains between us, and it is not shared with others outside of our conversations. The only instances when confidentiality is broken is if you are a serious threat to yourself or others.