For meaningful change, couples therapy can be expected to take 8–12 sessions on average, although outcomes vary across couples.
Factors which impact treatment outcomes include:
How safe you feel to engage openly in sessions.
Your willingness to actively complete tangible, practical exercises outside of session to build skills.
The extent to which you feel your therapist has a handle on the issues and is able to help you.
Any mental health issues or other demands (e.g. stress, finances, trauma) impacting one or both partners.
How long you have been in conflict as a couple.
The extent to which you can be open and flexible in exploring new ideas and trying different strategies to help you achieve your therapy goals.
Whether you are willing to acknowledge your role in the relationship issues (every relationship has more than one person’s input).
Any resource limitations (time, money).
I maintain a transparent and collaborative approach to working with you on your presenting issues. This means that:
I discuss the anticipated treatment length with you by the second joint session, and revisit this during our work together as and when needed.
During the process of treatment / coaching / mentoring, I use various methods to monitor progress, including your self-report and statistically valid outcome measures. These are completed by partners individually and together. We discuss the results and any implications for your treatment plan both individually and in joint sessions, as appropriate.
Sessions generally conclude when you have accomplished the goals we mutually agreed on at the outset.
My clients tend to have busy lives and want certainty in their schedules. For this reason, I recommend booking 3–4 sessions at a time, typically on a fortnightly basis. This is important when you are coordinating two diaries (yours and your partner’s) and may also have external scheduling considerations (child care arrangements, carer responsibilities, work commitments, etc). Contact my office to discuss any specific scheduling concerns.
In high need (crisis) times, clients may prefer weekly sessions or to engage in Intensive Therapy for a deep-dive into their issues.
As clarity around the problem increases and you start to consolidate skills learned in session, bookings may stretch out from fortnightly to every 3–5 weeks. These sessions help iron out any lingering concerns that may disrupt progress.
As an opt-in service, I offer Gold Standard Care by contacting you by email at 3 months and 6 months after your last session with me, just to check in and see how you are travelling. This is free of charge and is a great opportunity for you to review your goals and, if you need a hand getting back on track, I am there to help.