Counseling can be compared to tending a garden, the garden of your heart, mind, and soul. Choosing to make an appointment for counseling is an empowering decision to invest in yourself and your relationships. It nourishes your life “garden” to flourish. When you start the counseling journey, you may wonder how long it will take to cultivate that garden, to tame the troublesome weeds of trauma, depression, or anxiety. Will I be in counseling forever? How will I know if I am benefitting from counseling? How long does it take to see benefits from counseling? We will discuss the answers to those common questions here.
Factors That Impact Therapy Outcomes
You pursue counseling because you want something to change in your life, so it’s natural to ask how long it will take to see the quality of life changes you’re hoping for. The answer is different for each person because there are several variables. Some factors that impact how long it takes to see benefits from counseling include:
- The severity and length of your symptoms; acute symptoms often require shorter treatment than chronic or long-term conditions
- Your motivation level
- Your resilience
- How safe you feel to share freely with your therapist
- How well your goals and expectations match with your therapist
- The level of social support you have from family and friends
How Can You Tell if You’re Benefitting From Counseling?
Have you ever endeavored to clean out a closet or another area of your home and find that you’ve made a bigger mess? Sometimes, therapy can feel that way in the beginning. We often stuff away traumatic memories or unhealthy patterns, and it can feel messy to uncover those things. But if you can reframe those initial uncomfortable feelings as signs that you’re making progress, it will help you stay the course.
Other ways you can tell you’re benefitting from counseling include:
- Your symptoms are improving
- You are beginning to meet goals you and your therapist agreed upon
- Your thinking has positively changed
- Your behavior/actions/choices have positively changed
- Your relationships are improving
- You’re experiencing increased hope that life can be better
How Long Does It Take To See Benefits From Counseling?
Now that we have discussed what counseling benefits look like, how long does it take to see those benefits from counseling? According to the American Psychological Association (APA), the length of time it takes to experience treatment outcomes is as individual as people themselves based upon our discussion above about factors that impact therapy outcomes. Some people require therapy for a few months, and others require years depending on the complexity of their mental health concerns.
Additionally, therapy can be viewed as a lifelong change rather than merely a way to solve a problem. Habits and mindsets are often set for long periods of time, and it makes sense that it takes practice over time to establish new ones.
Despite the many variables, most people begin to see noticeable benefits from counseling after one to three months.
Eunoia Offers Counseling Services
Eunoia Counseling is here for you. We offer a wide range of counseling services to equip you with valuable tools for the “garden” of your heart, mind, and soul to flourish. Make 2021 your year to invest in yourself by taking the first step to contact us today for an appointment.