How Long Will It Take?
There is an ancient saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher shall appear.” Miraculous change can occur if someone is truly ready to hear something. Some couples find that just one session of therapy is all it takes to redirect their relationship to more positive ground. This is not common, but it is possible. For most people, it takes more work. The average length of all therapies in the United States today is six sessions.
Therapy doesn't need to be a lifelong process. A married couple can get enormous insights and learn new skills from marriage therapy done over a three-to six-month time period. If you are seeing a therapist as an individual, this may occur once a week. If a family or couple is in therapy, twice a month usually works better. Many couples find they need a couple of weeks between therapy sessions to learn the new skills suggested in their sessions and to practice the new behaviors they need to adopt to be more effective with their relationship. Like everything in life, the time required for change is unpredictable and unknowable. The time spent in therapy can be anywhere from one session to several years. Ultimately, you must make the informed decision.
Years may go by between your appointments with a marriage therapist, but once you have established a good relationship with that therapist, going in for a mental and emotional tune-up whenever the need arises can be a good idea. If married, a marital tune-up is very helpful. And these sessions should not go on and on, as you can be making the problem worse if you examine it in too much detail.