I have a long history of trauma and deal with symptoms of CPTSD on a near daily basis. I am on a low dose of Zoloft and see a therapist once a week. Progress has been very slow but I do see a steady improvement in my ability to self-regulate and a shift in some of my very fundamental patterns of thinking.
I have been seeing the same therapist for 15 months now. It is a wonderfully supportive and productive relationship. I know that we are not done, there is still more ground to cover, but I am beginning to be concerned by the length of time I’ve been in therapy. Or more to the point, I am concerned that I am expecting that I will always need some kind of therapeutic support in order to manage my symptoms.
Is this realistic? I know things change: I could move, my schedule could change, I could lose my insurance, he could cut hours… but barring any of those outside circumstances is it realistic to expect I am building a therapeutic relationship that could span years?
I’m not concerned by the length of time you have been in therapy. Your diagnosis suggests the need for some time in treatment. I do think you should express your concerns to your therapist and come to an understanding about what to expect.
You may, in fact, be building a relationship that will span years. But more important, you are building a knowledge base about the therapeutic process.
You are correct. There are many things that can result in needing a different therapist. That’s okay. There are many, many qualified therapists in the world. Sometimes it is useful to learn that there are many people who can offer needed help; that we aren’t dependent on one special therapist to continue our work.
Should a transfer become necessary (due to a move or another change in circumstances), your therapist will most likely help you identify a likely therapist who can continue your work. If that isn’t possible, you will interview potential new therapists on your own, with a more sophisticated understanding of what you need than when you first started.
I wish you well. Dr. Marie
Concerned about Length of Therapy
Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker
Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.
APA Reference Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Concerned about Length of Therapy. Psych Central.
Retrieved on November 20, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2016/06/03/concerned-about-length-of-therapy/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 3 Jun 2016) Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.