For straightforward cases, even a single session can be beneficial. You can usually expect to see the beginnings of improvements in your relationship within four sessions. Yet, when there has been substantial damage to the relationship, such as in cases of infidelity, most couples find it helpful to attend regularly for several months, and then have occasional maintenance sessions.
We will make a plan and regularly review our progress together to determine your continuing satisfaction. You are free to discontinue the process at any time. However, it is wisest not to quit too soon, before benefits begin to be seen. Conversely, sometimes people to quit prematurely when they are encouraged by initial improvements, even though those have not set in well enough to endure when challenging times come later.
This is a multi-step process for each of you: to accept a need for change, understand your problems, discover hope and courage, learn new attitudes, and practice new behaviors till they come easily. The length of time required is more dependent on you and your situation than on us.
People sometimes get stalled temporarily or impatient along the way. But perceived progress is not linearly related to the amount of time or money spent. Think of a house under construction. The foundation alone doesn’t provide much shelter. Though the roof is on, it’s pretty cold without the windows. It might not even look liveable without the carpet. But it would be a shame to walk away when it is half-built.
We will work as quickly as you both will permit. Truthfully, though, a great risk with this kind of couples process is that the therapist moves too quickly and leaves one or the other partner behind, disenchanted, discouraged, disgruntled, resentful, or jumping ship, claiming that “It isn’t working”. Rushing through the process could be a waste of your time and money, and result in a serious setback for you or your partner.
A few practitioners may claim to make very rapid progress, but when they fail and you complain, they can always claim that “You didn’t do the work needed” or “You weren’t ready.” We prefer not to abandon or “fire the client” when their case is not easy or simple. Be assured that there are no shortcuts or miracle methods, or else they would be taken up by every therapist.