Can often be all that's needed
Many years ago as an
employee assistance counselor working in remote areas of BC, I learned to help
people accomplish as much as they could in 6 sessions (which was my session
budget). Since then I have always looked for the quickest and most effective ways to help people
work with their issues.
While reviewing my current practice to get ready to build this website, I was surprised to find that a full 25% of my clients were completing in a single session. Trying to understand how this could be so, I realized that before they arrived, each of these "brief clients" had been stuck for a long time working very hard, trying to go in a direction that was wrong for them. They came looking for a way to succeed at that. They arrived, and we chatted. Bit by bit, the light came on. At some point during the session they said something like, "I don't have to keep trying to do this thing that's not working - it would be much better to go in this different direction over here." I agreed with them, and they were relieved to finally be free of their burden. They had completed their treatment in one session.
For those of you in the 75% who will take longer than one session, there is research showing that you need to experience some clear progress sometime during your first three sessions. If you don't, the chances are that you will either:
Leave and never come back, possibly believing that treatment doesn't work for you, or
Keep coming as a client for an exceptionally long time, never making any real progress.
We don't want either of these outcomes, so it's important that we both make sure that we are addressing your most important issues. If you are experiencing good progress on these each session, then this gives you the confidence to know that you are producing real changes for yourself. And if you have a clear idea of how you want to be at the end of your treatment, you can see yourself progressing steadily in this direction until you are finished.