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Therapy duration - shower thoughts

Discussion in 'General Support and Advice' started by HM03, Apr 6, 2024.

  1. HM03

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    Mainly just thinking out loud here.

    There seems to be two trains of thoughts when it comes to how long to spend in therapy.

    1) If you need/are in therapy long term, then your therapist isn't doing their job correctly or isn't a good fit for you. Since you should be able to learn coping mechanisms "to survive without them" and not be dependant on them. Makes sense to me.

    2) It's healthy to discuss mental health, especially to an "neutral" professional. If we viewed mental health the same as we viewed physical health, then it makes no sense to avoid check ups every now and then. We don't (or shouldn't) wait until something is seriously wrong before we go to the doctor's/hospital. Also makes sense to me.

    I'm quickly approaching 2 years now with the same therapist. For the first half, we were doing every 2 weeks. I'm so thankful and proud that with difference in my anxiety/quality of life, 2 years feels like a life time ago.

    The last while (year?), we've been doing check ins every 2-4 months (I guess she makes and reviews good notes from the previous time? Ahaha). Sometimes it's almost conversational. Other times, there is a goal I'm working towards, an event to process, or feelings to discuss. Part of me feels like I'm wasting her time with useless shit and blocking somebody more in need of her time, or it's some dependency thing.

    Another part of me knows I come from a fairly emotionally.....sterile family and I'm petrified on going backwards on my progress. Realisitically how dependant can I be/time I be "wasting" if I go every couple months? And while I feel comfortable with one of my friends in particular, there isn't a huge queer community, and I really value having a queer specializing therapist.
     
  2. Chip

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    If you are going every 2-4 months, you aren't dependent. Nor are you wasting her time.

    Therapy is an individual experience for each person. In my experience, some people do well with a half dozen sessions, and many others need many years, with most folks somewhere in between.

    If you are getting benefit most of the time... keep going. If you feel like you are are not benefitting, then stop. If you feel like you might have moe to work on, it might be sensible to try a different therapist. No two therapists will have the same approach or exactly the same style, and you will proably find new layers of material to work on. You will also see that if you stop therapy for a while and go back after a year or two or five.