This question really isn’t easily answered. There is no set time for how long therapy takes. It depends on the client and where they are at. It depends on how fast or slow the client wants to work. There may be some painful things that will come up, and some might want to touch on those difficult things right away. Others might want to take it slower and work up to them.

It’s like the onion analogy–the client and their therapist are peeling back a layer at a time. It depends on how quickly or slowly the client want to get those layers peeled back in order to get at what is deeply affecting them. It’s a fine balance; the therapist must understand their client and judge the speed to use to get to the tougher, deeper issues and feelings that their client is trying to deal with.

Therapy should provide some sort of relief to the client. It might be feeling relieved to finally have someone to talk to. It’s that undivided attention from a therapist, a person who validates, listens, and understands.

Why is that so important? Think of it this way: typically, we don’t have someone in our lives who listens, understands, and validates you one hundred percent of the time. Maybe you typically go to a friend, spouse, or family member with a problem. How often do they fully listen? They might be watching a TV show, doing something for work, or just waiting for you to finish up so that they can say something.

This isn’t to say that your family members, spouse, or friend is a terrible person. We all have been in that position where we aren’t fully listening to a loved one. Therapy provides a unique situation where you get one-on-one time with someone who is there to listen, talk through your problems, and help better your life.

It isn’t that you need attention. It’s that you need to be heard. You will hopefully feel a release and relief that you can talk to someone openly.

Hopefully, you will begin to feel a little better. It’s normal that you’ll practice some of the things your therapist suggests to you, and you’ll feel good and be able to see the good that those suggestions are bringing to your life.

But remember–we aren’t perfect. You are making progress, but there is a chance that you might fall back. It’s so much easier to do what is familiar to us than to do what isn’t. Like any habit, it will take a while to break. Progress will be made, maybe not in leaps and bounds, but it will occur.

The emotions and issues that come out during therapy can be difficult and challenging to deal with. Your therapist is there to help you through those difficult times. And remember, it’s the difficult times that help you understand yourself better. The whole point of asking questions and talking through problems is so that you can hopefully come out feeling more like that person you want to be.

Feel free to get in touch with Reka’s office by phone at 402-881-8125, by email at, or via Twitter or Facebook.

photo credit: Wei Zhang@Hudson via photopin cc