After spending some time looking over the results of my own clients’ lives I can confidently and personally confirm that the research is true.
I am continually impressed by each person’s unique story and growth as they work through their stuff and figure out what it is that they need and how to feel good in their lives.
There is a caveat to the consistency of seeing this growth across the board. Or rather a common denominator. What all of these people have in common- no matter their outward differences are several qualities:
- Continued hope. Even in dark times when it may be hard to feel hope- something still makes them show up. You don’t have to feel good or know what you need to show up. You just show up. They just show up.
- Curiosity about themselves. So they show up.
- They keep showing up. It starts with the initial decision to commit and invest in themselves. The decision that they know they want to feel better- even if they aren’t always motivated to really change behaviors (or feel like they CAN)- they at least show up for the talk therapy. To sit in the room with me for an hour each week and begin to explore and process.
- They learn to understand it takes time sometimes for real, true, deep change. Especially when you are undoing patterns that you rationally don’t like, but happen over and again throughout your life- they begin to understand that it takes patience and compassion with themselves to rewrite this stuff. (Our brain neuroplasticity is fascinating!)
- Did I mention they show up? For at least a few months. In the span of your life time- one hour a week for a little while is not that much to commit – especially when it has the ability to make your life yours.
So. After 6 years of private practice work, I can agree first hand with the multitude of research claiming that psychotherapy works. It explains that a few sessions can make you feel a little better, and that at least 8-12 weeks of consistent sessions is the minimum sweet spot for significant life change.
One of the things psychologists and peers have been talking about lately amongst themselves, is that we need to make a bigger emphasis on this notion to our potential clients. Some are saying we need to be encouraging people to commit to 12 weeks. Definitely!
But I’m going to start a bit gentler. Because by Week 8 you will feel it for yourself. I’m also going to give you an incentive. (Because feeling better and having better relationships and meaning isn’t incentive enough! ha!) For a brief time, I’m going to challenge new clients (don’t worry- you don’t have to do this- I won’t be mad at you if you don’t)- to commit to 8 weeks of consecutive counseling. Come for 7 weeks, and your 8th week I’ll give you your session for free. Remember, you don’t have to be in crisis or be feeling bad to need to come in. Those clients I mentioned above came in and sometimes said- “I feel pretty great. Not sure what to talk about”. And it often turned into one of their best sessions.
I recommend paying your 7 sessions up front to encourage your commitment. You are welcome to pay as you go each week too. But it only works for 8 consecutive weeks. Don’t forget- if you have insurance- they will most likely pay you back 60-80% of this. BCBS usually sends my clients refund checks in 2-3 weeks.
Feel free to contact me with any questions. Or go ahead and commit right now!