How Many Sessions Will This Take?

People are attracted to short term therapy models like NLP and Hypnosis because of the promise of getting the change completed as quickly as possible. And why shouldn’t they? If you have a headache you want the aspirin to work quickly and make you feel better now, not spend for a few months talking about the pain. So a very commonly asked question is “How many sessions will this take?”

Of all the things I’ve learned about personal change in a therapeutic context, it is that everyone is different and there is no absolute answer to the question of how many sessions will be required.
After all, you don’t just want it done quickly, you want it done thoroughly and you want it done right.

However, there is some interesting data to be found on the subject. In Jonathan Alpert’s new book, “Be Fearless: Change your Life in 28 Days,” the author sites a 2001 study published in the Journal of Counseling Psychology that states that patients improved most dramatically between their seventh and tenth sessions. Another study, published in 2006 in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology found that 88 percent improved after just one session but that the rate falls to 62 percent after twelve. The author concludes that, “The longer psychotherapy takes, the less likely it is to be effective.”

NLP, of course, is more than a simple style of therapy. In fact, it is only because the originators of NLP chose to model therapists that we have what many think of as “NLP Therapy.” Nevertheless, it works. in my practice, the use of NLP and Neo-Ericksonian Hypnosis help to make sessions goal oriented and solution oriented and facilitate getting the outcome the client desires as elegantly as possible.

Sometimes that is just one session. Often is it at least two sessions, because we want to make certain things are progressing properly. Sometimes I see clients for multiple sessions about more than one issue. Always we are seeking to reach specific goals and to build life skills that the client can apply in many contexts.