The Therapeutic Process

How does psychotherapy work?

Psychotherapy is a process. While we live in a quick fix society, most psychological difficulties involve time and work to improve. The length of therapy can vary, depending on the nature of the problem and the goals of the client.

First session

In the first session, I conduct a thorough assessment, which involves asking you questions about your psychological, medical, and developmental history. I will also ask you questions about your upbringing, family, relationships, education, cultural and religious background. This information helps me get to know you as a person and provides me with a context in which to view your difficulties. Most importantly, this information will help me determine how best to help you with your life challenges.

Subsequent sessions

After the initial session, the subsequent sessions will vary depending on the type of therapy employed. For example, in psychodynamic therapy, the sessions involve discussing whatever comes to mind, with the goal of us, together, exploring what underlies and motivates your patterns of behaviour. In contrast, in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), the approach is more structured. In this approach we would, together, discuss your goals, set agendas and you would complete homework between sessions.

How often are the sessions?

Regardless of the type of therapy, sessions generally take place once a week (although under certain circumstances the client may be seen more or less often). Each session lasts for 50 minutes (1 session), although for couple’s and family therapy, sessions may last for 75 minutes (1.5 session), or 100 minutes (2 sessions).