When you first sign up for professional counseling services, you may wonder how many sessions you will need. This can be a difficult question to answer, as each situation and individual is different, but there are some things to keep in mind that can help you understand the number of sessions that may be right for you.
Do you have concrete issues or goals?
If you start counseling with a clear understanding of what problems you currently have or goals you want to achieve, you will most likely progress more quickly. It's completely normal to start counseling when you feel lost or confused, in which case you may spend the first few sessions clarifying your goals. This will lengthen your time in counseling.
How often can you attend counseling?
Some people prefer multiple counseling sessions each week, so they can fully concentrate on a specific area in their life. Others may go to counseling once a week or every other week, which will extend the length of time you are in counseling but give you plenty of time to practice techniques between each session.
Do you desire continued support?
While most counselors work short-term with clients on specific problems and goals, some counselors have long-term clients who want continued support throughout their life. In this case, once you achieve one goal, you may work with your counselor to set and achieve your next goal, continually progressing with their assistance. If you want this type of continued support, it is important to discuss your desires before you begin counseling sessions. Some professional counselors prefer working short-term with clients while others are happy to work long-term.
How many sessions will your insurance cover?
While money shouldn't be the main issue when it comes to counseling, the reality is that finances and insurance can sometimes limit the amount of counseling a person can pay for. Many insurance and employee programs limit the number of counseling sessions that an individual can attend. If you depend on your insurance or employer to pay for your counseling, it is important to know how many sessions they will cover. This will allow you and your counselor to create an appropriate plan within your time constraints.
It is possible to achieve positive results with just a few weeks of counseling. However, many people are more comfortable taking their time and exploring their issues or goals more thoroughly. While this is something you may want to discuss with your counselor during your first session, it is important to remain flexible.