Are you worthy of investment?
When it comes to the financial investment of therapy, I cannot stress enough that a good therapist will also have a shared goal of not keeping you in therapy forever. Often times paying out of pocket for a therapist can feel exorbitantly expensive. My goal is not to have clients in therapy forever, the goal is to give you the tools and support you need to fly off into the world on your own.
I LOVE analogies, so I'm going to share one of my favorites with you: Therapy is like a bird with a broken wing. Without rest, and the ability to heal, the bird can't fly on its own. It may feel trapped, injured, sad, depressed or confused because life is not what it used to be. Then it gets help, some rest, support, and encouragement to learn to fly again. Slowly, as their wings heal, they regain the strength they need to fly off into the world again, on their own. Are you a bird with a broken wing?
When you value mental wellness, therapy is not a financial burden, it is an investment in your heart, soul, mind and future.
What's fascinating to me is that people in today's day and age are so willing to spend $200+ a week on fitness classes and trainers to alter their exterior, but what good is your exterior if your interior is not as strong?
Or what about alcohol and other substances? Think about what people spend on a weekly basis to enjoy a drink after work, a bottle of wine with friends or hit of a vape pen. Truth is, substances are often just another coping mechanism for your feelings. While everything in life is good in moderation,(for the most part) one thing is for sure, drugs and alcohol will cost much more than therapy because its often used as a way to numb feelings, or gain faux confidence, rather than deal with them and believe in oneself.
So, how long should therapy take?
It depends, and there is a reason behind it. Every persons' journey in therapy is different. Your time in therapy depends on many things: presenting problem, history of therapy, and most of all, the work you're willing to do.
A therapist cannot and should not do the work for you. It's more about finding someone to challenge you, listen to you and help facilitate new thinking, new ideas and patterns present in your every day world that you can use as you live your life.
There is something to be said for the impact great therapy can have on an individual or couple. Most people begin in therapy with weekly treatment, and progress to bi-weekly over time, to once a month for consistent support and eventually venture out into the world on their own. I think this frequency is supportive, realistic and while a financial commitment, not one that will last forever.
I will say this, a one time session may inspire you to think differently, or see things in a new way, but it will take consistent work and exploration to see long term effects of psychotherapy because behaviors don't change overnight. Therapy provides a safe space, inspiration and support to understand why you have behaved the way you did, and how to change the way you behave to elicit the future you want for yourself.
As a sex therapist I tell people all of the time, you are going to sleep with one person for the rest of yourself, YOU, so make it a priority, take care of your body and mind, and enjoy sleeping with yourself for as long as you can.