The Therapeutic Process

Some therapists have referred to single session therapy. Single sessions work well for issues which are well defined and can be solved by implementing a plan of action, with the possibility of follow-up sessions if necessary. For most people this is not sufficient: the issues brought to therapy may have been shaped by years of experiences and interactions. Sometimes there is only a vague pre-conscious sense of things being wrong or missing. Traumatic events or personal and family histories tend to cast long shadows. It can take time to allow oneself to feel and think about experiences that have been so far (understandably) avoided, but cannot be avoided any longer. 

The way to feeling and thinking better passes through them, not over them. The therapeutic process starts from the place where a person is - the present. In my experience, therapeutic change is mostly gradual and happens over time - this is the reason for sessions taking place on a regular basis - once or twice a week, at the same time of the day and on the same day of the week. Reviews along the way are helpful in getting a perspective on how we are progressing. Allowing time to bring the therapy to an end and think about the post-therapy future is also important. Learning to face endings can be a real achievement in itself.