General Question

SirBailey's avatar

How long is psychotherapy?

Asked by SirBailey (3115 points ) June 7th, 2009

About how long a period of time do people go to psychotherapy? My neighbor just stopped going after 21 years. That can’t be the norm?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

19 Answers

Blondesjon's avatar

It lasts as long as you want it to.

gailcalled's avatar

It varies from several sessions to forever. (See *Woody Allan.) Or until you go broke or your insurance runs out.

(* Allen, who gave up therapy after meeting Soon-Yi, said that he had lived his life in “low-level depression”. “My shrink said to me, ‘when you came here, I thought it was going to be extremely interesting and kind of fascinating, but it’s like, you know, listening to an accountant or something’.”)

chyna's avatar

<—Accountant, resembles that remark.

Kayak8's avatar

It really depends on the issue(s) a person is working through, how good the therapist is, and how much work the client does on their own.

SirBailey's avatar

Would you say 21 years is normal?

killertofu's avatar

@SirBailey: the best answers are from @gailcalled and @Blondesjon

gailcalled's avatar

Remember the old joke;

People who are early are anxious;
People who are on time are compulsive;
People who are late are hostile.

@SirBailey; Are you sure your neighbor was is psychotherapy and not psychoanalysis?

SirBailey's avatar

She was seeing a Psychologist. Does that tell you?

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

What’s “normal” for people seeing a therapist? I didn’t know there was a standard.
21 years is a long time to do anything but then again, you don’t know all the details of your neighbors life and history nor the nature of the reason your neighbor sought psycho therapy.

Try not to be judgmental. There is no shame in getting help for a problem.

SirBailey's avatar

Being judgmental is the farthest thing on my mind. I don’t know how long people go to a Psychologist. I was wondering, if I decided to go, if I’m talking 20 years.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

No you’re not looking at 20 years unless you decide to go for 20 years. Psycho therapy is completely patient driven.

gailcalled's avatar

@SirBailey: These days there are many variables. Because therapy is so costly, even with insurance, many people go with one major problem, sit down with the therapist and decide how many sessions might be helpful.

If you are planning to examine your entire childhood, it will take longer.

augustlan's avatar

I’ve been in therapy during three (or 4?) separate periods in my life. Each time, it was quite short-term. I could never afford to go more than once or twice a month, and I think the longest time I attended consecutively was about 2 years. These days, therapy is more about solving current real-life problems than analyzing every little detail from our pasts. It seems to be much more targeted than in the past.

If you are considering it for yourself, know what end result you’d like to achieve and state it right at the beginning. Rest assured, it probably won’t be a straight line to your goal, but just knowing your goal is a huge step in the right direction. Therapy and medication helped me enormously, and I highly recommend it if you think it may help you. Good luck!

YARNLADY's avatar

Every doctor/patient relationship is different. To find out what would work for you, schedule an appointment and discuss what your needs. The initial visit will answer most of your questions.

gailcalled's avatar

It’s now called Cognitive-behavior therapy. Google it. Limited sessions and some homework…

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@gailcalled Cognitive behavior therapy is different than traditional talking psychotherapy.

whatthefluther's avatar

How long…..13 letters? wtf

AstroChuck's avatar

@whatthefluther- Hey! You beat me to it.

Kayak8's avatar

@whatthefluther
@astrochuck
I think you left out “talking” then it’s only 4 letters . . .

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther