Individual Psychotherapy – what is it?4 min read
Psychotherapy does not magically solve problems. It’s a complex science that draws from medicine, philosophy, and psychology. A psychotherapist is a person who has the right tools – he uses them to help the patient with the problem with which he comes to him.
However, the patient must also try to solve his problems. The patient and the psychotherapist have a special contract that allows them to plan the entire course of therapy. Define its goals and priorities. On this basis, the psychotherapist selects an appropriate method of action, and the duration of psychotherapy is also determined. The duration is always adjusted to the individual needs of a given patient.
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Psychotherapy Frequency Of Meetings
It is difficult to blindly determine the frequency of psychotherapy meetings. It all depends on the individual needs of a given patient. Most often, however, the patient will be offered one meeting a week.
This is not a rule – you can also meet the proposal of two therapeutic sessions a week as often. However, there are many currents of psychotherapy. Some of them, such as – for example – psychoanalysis – require more frequent meetings. Often times, as many as five appointments a week are offered to the patient.
In the opinion of many psychotherapists, meetings less than once a week are pointless. If the treatment sessions last less than once a week or their frequency is irregular, there is a good chance that psychotherapy will be less effective. It may also turn out to be ineffective at all.
How Long Does Psychotherapy Last
Psychotherapy is not only about the number of sessions per week – it is also about the time these sessions are held. Its duration depends on several basic factors. The problem with which the patient reports to a psychotherapist is very important. The current of psychotherapy in which the session will take place is also important. Usually it is divided into three categories. Therefore, you can come into contact with psychotherapy:
Short-term – short-term psychotherapy usually lasts from a few weeks to six months. It is most often used in the case of people who need support in adapting to changes that have occurred in their lives, cannot cope with making a difficult and difficult decision, or are in a temporary crisis.
Medium term – lasts from six months to a year. Cognitive behavioral therapy can be a short-term therapy, and it is also often a medium-term therapy. Very often, Solution Focused therapies are also very often medium-term therapies.
Long-term – it may take up to several years. It is used for people who come to the therapist with a very complex problem. It is also commonly used in some currents of psychotherapy – for example in the case of psychoanalysis.
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Therefore, it is impossible to clearly answer the question of how long individual psychotherapy lasts – it is all very fluid and depends on individual factors, including the patient’s approach. Motivation to change, willingness to spend time thinking about therapy-related issues between consecutive sessions – all of this can greatly affect the duration of psychotherapy.
It may also happen in the course of therapy that the therapist and the patient will first conclude a contract based on short-term therapy, but over time they will renegotiate this contract and the therapy will change into a medium-term one.
Much depends on the patient’s problem, whether there are any other factors – including other problems and disorders – somatic diseases, personality disorders, or addictions.
The initial determination of its duration is very important in psychotherapy. This allows you to outline the framework of psychotherapy and determine the time during which you will need to assess whether or not to reevaluate your problems. However, it is not always possible to precisely define the duration of psychotherapy, which is why you should also be prepared for it. Such situations are not the result of the therapist’s ill will, but of factors that the therapist or even the patient had no idea about before.
Individual Or Group Psychotherapy?
Apart from various trends in psychotherapy, the form of psychotherapy is also important. Most often you will encounter individual psychotherapy and group psychotherapy.
Individual psychotherapy allows the psychotherapist to fully focus on the patient. At the center of this type of psychotherapy is the patient and everything that concerns him – his feelings, experiences, thoughts, attitude, or the way he sees himself.
A bond is established between the psychotherapist and the patient. In such cases, the psychotherapist very often fills the gap that has arisen in the patient’s life – he or she acts as a friend or parental figure.