Dr. Sophie L. Teuschl


“Question of time”

The duration of a psychotherapy is individually determined by

  • the severity of the problem
  • the goals and changes you want to achieve
  • the skills you might need to develop and/or adjust

In addition to your compliance, your willingness to accept the treatment, the regularity of the session is decisive.

How many therapy sessions are required is oriented towards your individual needs.

The longer you allow yourself to take your time for psychotherapy, the more you will benefit from it.

How long until the first success?

A therapy process will not run like a linear process.

Usually it is proceeding well, but some topics require more time. Sometimes goals and directions change.

To address topics that are relatively confined or incident-related, on average, 6 to 8 months of therapy could be already helpful.

Why 6 to 8 months?

  • You need a “start-up phase” (ca. 1 – 2 months).
    This phase is to investigate your current situation, find out what has caused it and how to solve the problems. You will notice first changes.
  • At this time, you are “in the middle” of the therapy process already. As you have started to improve your self-awareness since the beginning of the therapy, you will be able to actively address the issues directly during the following 4 – 6 months.
  • During this period of time the “new” changes and successes will be embedded emotionally. The emotional stabilisation is necessary to safeguard the sustainability of these therapy successes.
  • If you remain in therapy for more than 8 months, you will be able to achieve even more, because you have much more time to talk about the topics in detail.

However, you can expect that you need about 4 months to make progress, if sessions take place regularly once a week.

To stabilise your progress and achievements, significantly more sessions are required.

In my experience, stable changes need a lot of time and patience. The majority of the patients prefer to remain in psychotherapy for about 1.5 to 3 years.

➤   Find out more about schedule planning.

Final phase of therapy

Finishing therapy

A therapy can be considered as finished, as soon as

  • emotional stress is no longer present
  • symptoms and troubles have become noticeably weaker or disappeared
  • the past is no longer a burden & the future is not frightening anymore
  • you know your emotions and understand how to react upon them
  • you have reached your therapy goals & you are happy with your success
  • you are mentally fit again & healthy
  • you are not stressed anymore & feeling well again
  • and if there are no therapy-relevant topics left to talk about

What will happen afterwards?

I recommend, not to stop your therapy suddenly, but gradually reduce the therapy sessions and conclude with a final session.

For example:
After the agreement of ending the therapy, before the final meeting, 2 to 4 (±) sessions take place every 2 to 4 weeks.

It is possible, that sooner or later after finishing therapy, you feel like you need to discuss something. In this case, follow-up sessions can be arranged.