How long does Counseling last?

Individual and Couples Counseling | Columbia, Mo

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If you're interesting in attending individual counseling or couples counseling, but one of your hang ups is the length of time sessions will go on for, then you're in the right place.

Although the question, "how long does counseling last" isn't cut and dry. This is an "it depends" type question, so there's a couple of key things to note.

  1. Until you're satisfied with the outcome! That's the simple answer, though. Keep reading for more variables. :)
  2. The duration of counseling is going to vary based on personal variables. If you're proactive about mental health, have a tendency or ability to self-reflect (without it being taught), and just need some space for a thing or two that feels too cluttered in your mind, then counseling might not last that long. We'd say about six-eight sessions (I'm being lenient here).
  3. If you're uncomfortable with feelings/emotions (specifically, you're own), don't really know how to self-reflect, tend to shut off what we talk about in counseling outside of the counseling session, and are feeling overwhelmed by multiple aspects of your life, then chances are that counseling will take longer than eight sessions (maybe even six months or so).
  4. The length of counseling doesn't mean anything about you as a person and absolutely is not reflective of a person's level or ability to function in life. It's really just about our tendencies as people, what we excel at, what we need some help with, and what we need to let go of. I realize that sounds so abstract and 'out there' when I type it, but it's hard to wrap this up in a neat little package with a pretty little bow. 
  5. Our goal is not to keep you in counseling forever. As counselors, our goal is to help you be able to deal with the problem you want to deal with (i.e. the thing that brought you into counseling) without needing us on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. That's not to say that going to counseling throughout your life is a bad thing. On the contrary - it can be an extraordinary place to grow. That is to say that it's more fitting to do some work, take a break, do a little more work, take another break, and so on and so forth. We want you to thrive without us, even if we're happy to see you.