Confidential therapy sessions typically last approximately 45 minutes. The initial assessment session is usually 60 minutes. A therapy recommendation is made at the initial appointment and it is collaboratively determined if working together is a good fit; teens are required to complete a writing assignment in order to continue therapy beyond the initial session. Therapy goals are guided by client needs and synthesized during the first 3 sessions; goals are revisited and progress is monitored often. Session frequency, and the number of sessions a client will attend varies because there is no set formula to guarantee progression by predetermined deadlines. Life truly is happening in real time. However, it becomes fairly clear as sessions take place where a client falls on frequency and number - session frequency is continuously reduced as clients see improvement. Improvement might look like feeling increased contentment, reduced symptomatology, consistently acting in a manner reflective of personal goals and values, and general satisfaction with with the progress that has been made. It is recommended that clients continue to check in every 4-6 weeks for consistent support, accountability, and overall well being maintenance; however, it is optional.
Client involvement in the entire therapy process is crucial. Progress simply cannot occur without the client taking some sort of action. A willingness to put forth varied effort is a must in therapy. I tell clients and parents that I'm riding "shot gun," in the client's car of life...but the client is the only person able to drive. I am fully invested in the goals of therapy, and I'll "passenger seat drive" as much as possible for progress, but still, I can never drive the client's car of life, nor should I or anyone else.
If progress is stalled for too long, or if at any time the client is dissatisfied with service, termination of services could be the best next step. If this happens, referrals are provided so that the client can continue the therapy process.