When people start psychotherapy for the first time, it is common and normal to wonder how long it will take until your treatment becomes helpful and when you will start to see improvements. Based on research on the duration and effectiveness of psychotherapy, researchers found people began noticing changes around six months into treatment. For people who stayed in treatment for longer than this, they noticed significantly more changes, and for people who stayed in treatment for approximately 1 year to 2 years, they made exponentially more improvements. Through psychotherapy, people commit to working on themselves, and although that process takes time, it is a meaningful and worthwhile process to engage in.
It is important to remember that although these are the estimated averages of how long it typically takes for treatment to become effective, all people are different in their reasons for and need of support! Therefore, treatment may look different to all who engage in services and the timeframe for effectiveness can vary based on these factors. Some people may benefit from shorter treatments, whereas others may benefit from longer treatments. Additionally, based on the circumstances or presenting problem you are facing, then your treatment duration could look different. Most research supports attending sessions as regularly as you can. Although attending appointments weekly or biweekly shows similar levels of effectiveness, participating in sessions each week tends to lead to faster results and less time in treatment.