Help? How Many Sessions Do I Need?
Welcome back to this week’s blog. Before I went away on holiday I said to a number of my friends and colleagues that I felt there was going to be an awakening while I was away. I am happy to say that there was, on the very last weekend of my travels when it happened. This is a subject for another week but one which I will be sharing once I know more about the outcomes that I am seeking from it.
This week I am going to address the question of how many sessions a client of hypnotherapy may need. As you can imagine, there is no easy answer as we are all different but I would like to give some ideas of past experience coupled with my thoughts on this subject.
There is no doubt that therapy is beneficial and the majority of clients get the change that they seek, if it didn’t work hypnotherapists would quickly go out of business! There are so many differing ways that you could address your wellness issue – counselling, psychotherapy, et cetera. With a number of these talking therapies there seems, at least to me, to be something that client and therapist engage with over a great number of sessions, people seem to expect that this is an enduring process. Yet with hypnotherapy this seems to be a different expectancy. When clients contact me, in 95% of cases one of the questions is “how many sessions will I need?”
When I first started working in hypnotherapy, I believed that I could fix everyone in just one session and I would be quite upset if I didn’t do this. Today, I am obviously much more pragmatic and I know that there are so many reasons why change isn’t instant, more so gradual in nature. So, what is the answer?
- You could experience full, complete change in just session.
- You may experience gradual change over a number of sessions leading to recovery.
No matter the circumstances, I will now always recommend a second session even if you get the full change you desire straight away. If you experience gradual change, then my advice is to keep going as it is working for you!
Long Term Sustainability
There are a number of studies which allude to long term sustainable change being linked to reinforcement at, and during the early stages – the more reinforcement, the greater probability of long term success. I do, however, understand that there is a cost to the client. This has to be balanced with the cost versus benefit question.
So what is the simple answer – approach therapy with an open mind and accept that if you want to improve your condition, then you may well need a number of sessions, 2 as a minimum. You will know when you no longer need to see your therapist.
To help my clients, I have a very simple and straightforward promise. I promise that:
"I will do everything I can to help provide real, lasting, and sustainable change in as few sessions as is needed."
This promise, along with my vision and strategy can be found on my home page:
I do have something that I feel is very important to those seeking hypnotherapy and therapy in general. There are unfortunately, a number of hypnotherapists that state that they offer 4 or 6 or even as many as 10 sessions – my question is… how do they know that is the number the client needs? It is one of those things that really annoys me! Please please – talk to the therapist, ask as many questions as needed – you need to trust your therapist. Below is a link to an article in The Guardian about therapy and the effectiveness in general that you may find of interest.
If you have any questions or want some advice about hypnosis or therapy then do ring me.
My very best wishes.
Thanks to Artiom Gorgan for the image published under creative commons flickr.com