When a person who has never been in therapy calls to talk about the possibility of becoming a client of mine, it is very common for them to ask how long it will take. Most people think that the process is like going to a medical doctor with a problem. They are seen, the problem is diagnosed, and a treatment plan is established. Often, the patient is given medication and it resolves the problem. The question about how long it will take in
Psychotherapy or Counseling has many more variables that effect the answer.
- Is the problem one that directly involves one or more people (Individual, Marital, Family)?
- What kinds of symptoms are caused by the problem?
- How long has this problem existed?
- Is this a problem that comes and goes recurrently?
- Is there a physical, chemical, or medical cause for the problem?
There are numerous other variables that need to be considered in answering this question, and even with that information the answer will only be a best guess. Counseling tends to be more situation specific in nature. You come in for a problem or problems, and it is the focus of the work. You resolve the problem(s) and the therapy ends.
The client who comes in for Psychotherapy not only comes in to work on specific problem(s), but also after it is resolved the therapy continues to identify the root cause in an attempt to prevent a reoccurrence in the future. For a more specific idea and more information about the potential length of treatment please feel free to call and discuss it with me. It is important to note that it is not possible to really ever know how long therapy may take do to the potential of other issues or variables surfacing while doing the work.
If you would like to discuss this topic with me by phone, please call my office at: (713)-266-6029. Leave your name, phone number, and a short message concerning what you would like to discuss.
I will return your call during my business hours at the phone number you leave. I am usually in my office from Monday through Thursday from 7:00 AM until 9:00 PM. I look forward to speaking with you.
Alan J. Schneider
LCSW, LPC, LMFT, CGP, BCD.
2425 Fountainview, Suite 270
Houston, Texas 77057