How Long Does Couples Therapy Take?

Time and duration of therapy

How long does therapy take? That is a good question without an easy answer. In large part, it is up to you. It depends upon how many items you want to work on. It depends on to what degree you are willing and able to work outside of counseling. Sometimes clients just want an assessment that can take 1-2 sessions (rarely). Sometimes marriages are in trouble and need six months to a year. The average duration for effectiveness is about 12 sessions. Clients are often stuck between competing wants. For example, someone with social anxiety may want more friends and a better ability to speak in front of others, but at the same time, they may prefer the comfort of isolation to the short-term discomfort of trying to meet people and grow socially. If your partner won’t go with you or you want to work on yourself first, the duration may be different. The duration depends largely on you. Do you do counseling homework assignments? Do you attend regularly or tend to miss appointments? Do you understand everything in session and they fail to practice at home (very normal)? Can you employ techniques when you are calm but haven’t yet developed the practice to do so when you are stressed? Counseling is an investment in your future, however, so if there is something that is holding you back, hopefully, you can find the courage and take the time to give it a try.