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How Many Therapy Sessions Do I Need?

Updated: Apr 23

A casually dressed girl in her late teens enters my office for her third therapy session. “I can’t keep living like this. I want to see progress”, she began. “ It’s frustrating not knowing how many sessions I’ll need. I wish there was a clear answer, she added. 

I liked how she mentioned a very important topic regarding therapy sessions. 

Knowing how many therapy sessions you might need is important as it can help you plan and budget for your mental health treatment. 

This article aims to answer how many therapy sessions one needs.

Factors That Determine The Number Of Therapy Sessions:

There might not be a definite set of therapy sessions that will cure everyone. Many factors affect how many sessions a person might need. These include: 

The severity of your mental health issues

People with more severe mental health issues may need more therapy sessions. For example, someone with mild depression may need eight to 12 therapy sessions, while someone with severe depression may need 16 or more.

How long you’ve had your symptoms

The number of therapy sessions required can also vary depending on how long you’ve had your symptoms and how severe they are.

For instance, although it depends on patient responsiveness, the number of cognitive behavioral therapy sessions for people with depression varies according to symptom severity. 

If you’ve been experiencing symptoms for a long time, it may take longer to see results. For example, more complex psychological conditions and certain personality disorders may require lengthier treatments. 

It’s important to remember that therapy is a process that takes time to work through problems and achieve meaningful change.

What you’re being treated for

Therapy can be for a lot of different things. Some people may not have a specific goal and may only seek counselling to explore their emotions and themselves. Meanwhile, other people might have a definite issue and a clear goal that they want to accomplish. In this case, measuring the progress towards achieving the goals and determining how many sessions are required is easier.

How quickly you make progress

When you start therapy, you will set goals with your therapist, including how long you expect therapy to last. Treatment length is flexible at this point, as neither you nor your therapist knows how treatment will proceed. 

Throughout your sessions, your therapist will conduct evaluations to assess progress, and the two of you will work together to set a new goal. There is no way to tell how quickly you will progress. Some people attending a one-hour session once a week may progress just as quickly as others who go twice a week. 

One study found that starting with more frequent sessions may produce better results, meaning that going more frequently at the beginning and then cutting back may be beneficial.

Types of Therapy:

There are multiple types and approaches to therapy. When you meet with your therapist for the first time, you may talk about the right approach for your mental health. 

Here are some examples of the types of therapy we offer: 

Trauma Therapy

Trauma therapy aims to provide support for all kinds of situations ranging from childhood sexual abuse, acts of physical violence, car accidents, attachment trauma, and more. 

EMDR Therapy

EMDR therapy helps individuals process and release traumatic memories.  It involves a series of eye movements, hand-tapping, or audio stimulation to activate the natural healing process of the brain. 

EMDR therapy is best known for its role in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

The therapy is typically conducted in eight phases, which include history-taking, preparation, assessment, desensitization, installation, body scan, closure, and reevaluation.

Teens Counselling Services

Teen therapy helps teenagers deal with mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. 

It can also help them cope with difficult life events, such as divorce, bullying, or the death of a loved one. Several types of therapy can be used to treat teenagers, including cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT).

For example, let’s say a teenager is struggling with anxiety. The therapist might use behavioural therapy (CBT) to help the teenager identify negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. 

The therapist might also teach teenagers relaxation techniques to help them manage their anxiety. Over time, the teenager will learn to climb the mountain of anxiety and reach the summit of mental wellness.

Couples Counselling

Couple counselling is typically a short-term form that can help partners improve their relationship at any stage. It can help clarify relationship roles, assist with sex and intimacy issues, improve communication and connection, and help partners deal with life transitions or external stressors.

Children’s Therapy

Child therapy (also known as child counselling) is a type of psychiatric treatment that helps children understand and manage their feelings, change their behaviour, communicate more effectively, and build resiliency.

Purpose of therapy

Therapy can fulfill different purposes, such as:

Healing: Resolving emotional problems

Growing: Developing more confidence and self-worth

Coping: Dealing with situations you can’t change, such as losing a loved one.

The nature and number of therapy sessions will vary according to the purpose. 

How Many Therapy Sessions Do I Need?

How many sessions does one need to conquer their painful feelings, unbearable anxiety, dysfunctional relationships, or out-of-control behaviour? 

There is no “right” answer regarding how many therapy sessions do you need. It is something that your therapist may tell you after examining your issue.

For example, people with mild depression may need 5 to 8 therapy sessions, while someone with severe depression may need 12 or more. On the far end of the spectrum, there may be people with chronic conditions who will require or desire long-term therapy sessions.

The number of sessions a client requires to see significant improvement varies depending on the situation. However, on average, it ranges from 15 to 20 sessions. Most clients begin to notice positive changes in their outcome measures after about 10 sessions, but after that, the rate of improvement tends to plateau. 

Want to know more or chat with our amazing Client Care Team? Drop us a line here, or call us at 226-777-7702.



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