One of the most common questions our Client Relationships Team (CRT) field from new or prospective clients is how long they/their child might need therapy for.
As you can imagine, this question is a little tricky to answer for anyone, and even your therapist may not know the answer straight away. It’s a bit like trying to answer “how long is a piece of string” – until we understand the full nature of your concerns, we might not be able to give you a satisfactory answer to this very important question!
Still there are some things that we can tell you, and some of these are backed up by good scientific research and evidence.
Firstly, we care about you and want the best for you! We’re dedicated to helping you improve the quality of your life, your wellbeing, and to reaching your therapeutic goals. We will take the time to get to know you, what works for you in therapy – and what doesn’t – and we want to hear from you if you have any concerns about how your therapy is going.
We also really believe in your strengths and what you bring to the table. We know that you’re doing amazing things in your life, and receiving help from a psychologist, OT, or other allied health professional is designed to add to your wellbeing. We’re always grateful when you choose us to be part of your journey.
We know that most clients who attend therapy do not want to be attending for the rest of their lives. Whilst some clients may need blocks of therapy throughout their lifespan to ensure that they maintain wellness, this is not true for all clients.
So…How Many Sessions?
Research indicates that 50% of people seeking psychology treatment will require, on average, 13 – 18 sessions in order to see “significant” improvements in their identified treatment goal areas, and to sustain those changes in the long term (i.e. at 12 and 18 month post-therapy check ins).
The remaining 50% of people seeking psychology services will require somewhere between 20 to 70 sessions, depending on a range of factors – such as the complexity of their difficulties/presenting issues, the supports they have in place, other therapies they engage in (such as OT and Psychology concurrently), whether new difficulties arise during their course of treatment.
Research also currently indicates that psychology clients attend only 5.5 sessions on average in Australia!
This means that there are lots of people who stop attending treatment just as they’re starting to get to the ‘good stuff’.
How can I get the most out of my time at H&H?
- Attend appointments consistently
Your clinician will recommend a schedule for appointments -leaving a month between appointments could mean your child will take some time to ‘warm up’ to their clinician again. Attending weekly or fortnightly at the start of treatment might, on the other hand, mean that you have a chance to implement strategies without leaving time for old habits to creep back in.
This may mean prioritising therapeutic appointments even over other really important things in life, like attending school or going to work. Where it would be helpful, we’re happy to provide our clients with attendance certificates to ensure that school or work know that you’ve taken the time for a really important reason.
We will always offer telehealth appointments, also, so that you can skip the travel to and from our offices, and get down to the important business as quickly as possible!*
- Give your clinician feedback
We encourage regular discussions between therapists and their clients to ensure that we’re all on the same page about treatment goals, and how treatment is progressing.
- Be open to a fresh perspective
Chat to your clinician if you feel that somebody might suit you better, we’re aware that the one clinician can’t always fulfill all our needs. Your clinician may also suggest another of our team members for you if they feel that you would benefit from their input.
*(Please note that at the time of writing this blog piece, Medicare rebates are available for Mental Health Treatment Plan clients for telehealth sessions until June 2021. Hopscotch and Harmony will endeavour to keep all our clients informed should this arrangement change and affect their funding options.)