How many sessions will it take to get better?

Psychotherapy and Counselling for most problems/issues involves 8-20 sessions of individual, couple or group psychotherapy.  However this may vary based on the level of service required.


How will I know if Psychotherapy or Counselling is for me?

The function of psychotherapy or counselling is to help you work on the concerns, issues or problems that you are facing. Sometimes simply sharing your thoughts and feelings in confidence with someone who is objective and a good listener is helpful when you have a decision to make.

Sometimes psychotherapy or counselling involves providing you with, or directing you to, certain types of information and then helping you to understand that information.

At other times, psychotherapy or counselling may involve helping you to change your feelings about yourself or others, or helping you to change some of your behaviour.

Most people know whether or not they are comfortable with their therapist and whether or not therapy is likely to be helpful to them within 2-4 sessions. It usually takes people longer than 2-4 sessions to experience any significant change in their symptoms or distress.

You are encouraged to discuss your progress with your therapist after 4-6 weeks of treatment.


When to see someone for help:

  • Do you feel sad,depressed, “down in the dumps”?
  • Do you lose interest / pleasure in your usual activities?
  • Do you feel irritable all the time, for no particular reason?
  • Do you feel sad instantly for no particular reason?
  • Do you suddenly lose your appetite?
  • Does your appetite increase noticeably?
  • Do you have difficulty sleeping/or are you sleeping too much?
  • Does your energy level fall?
  • You have problems concentrating on your work
  • You have problems making decisions
  • You have physical symptoms for which your physician is unable to explain
  • You feel as if you are not worth anything
  • You are overwhelmed by feelings of guilt
  • You think the world would be a better place without you
  • Does the future seem hopeless?

Why do I have this problem?

Mental health problems are common and seeking help to prevent or overcome them is a sign of courage, strength, and health. Many individuals experience difficulties after a marriage breakdown, job layoff, mid-life crisis, an accident or serious disease, the death of a close relative or friend, a business failure and so on. Emotional and behavioural problems affect individuals from all walks of life, at all income levels, and at all ages. Services provided by mental health professionals are an integral part of one’s complete health care.

Treatment is problem-focused and focused on the “here and now” rather than the past. You and your therapist may spend some time discussing your past in order to better understand your current problems. However, the focus of therapy is on overcoming your current difficulties.

In order to overcome your problems, people have to move from understanding (insight) to action, by challenging and changing their thoughts, assumptions, beliefs and behaviours.

What about medication?

For most mood and anxiety problems, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is at least as effective as medication. In addition, in the long term CBT is often more effective than medication in maintaining wellness and preventing relapse. However, many people benefit from a combination of medication and CBT. Often medication is used to provide some relief from symptoms and CBT is used to provide long-term strategies for getting well and staying well.

Advantages of medications include the fact that they can provide significant symptom relief without a lot of effort. Disadvantages of medications include side effects and the significant risk of a return of symptoms (relapse) when you stop taking the medication. Advantages of CBT include the fact that CBT appears to be more effective than medication in maintaining wellness and preventing relapse. Disadvantages of CBT include the significant time and effort required to attend the sessions and do the homework, as well as the cost.


Thinking, Feeling & Getting Better is Possible!


Page tags: What Is Cognitive Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Approaches, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Toronto, What Is a Psychotherapist