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Concerned about Length of Therapy

Asked by on with 1 answer:

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?

Concerned about Length of Therapy

Answered by on -

A.

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 September 15, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2016/06/03/concerned-about-length-of-therapy/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.