She stopped me after church a couple weeks back. She said she had been thinking about talking to a counselor, but was hesitant. It wasn’t that she was afraid of seeing a counselor; she was worried that it would be a long-term process. Her life was already so busy, and she didn’t think she could pack another weekly appointment into her calendar.

It’s true that counseling can take some time, but sometimes, it doesn’t take very much time at all. Depending upon the situation, the individual, and the counselor, it’s possible to achieve significant progress in two or three sessions.

For example, I’ve had several situations in which parents were concerned about a teenager’s attitude or behavior. During the first session, we identified roadblocks that were interfering with healthy parent-child communication and suggested strategies that eased the tension and made it easier to talk. Sometimes, simple misunderstandings or our fears of being hurt keep us from truly listening to one another.

Even marriage counseling doesn’t automatically have to involve months and months of sessions. Couples may be so deep into conflict that they don’t see solutions that are obvious to a third party. As a counselor, one of the most satisfying moments comes when I point something out that neither party has noticed, and their eyes open with realization and understanding. In those cases, a handful of sessions may provide the breakthrough the couple needs to build a stronger, happier marriage.

How individuals approach counseling has a lot to do with the length of the process. If participants are open about their feelings, listen thoughtfully, and fulfill the “homework” the counselor provides, they’ll progress more rapidly than people who are reluctant about disclosing their true feelings and don’t really want to listen … or change. And of course, some situations are more complex and will take more time to resolve.

If you think you need to see a counselor, the simple fact is that you probably do. It doesn’t mean that there’s anything “wrong” with you. We all need a hand from time to time, and having someone who’s objective help us look at challenges in a different way can be beneficial. In fact, some of the bravest people we know are those we see in our session rooms. Don’t let worries about how long that help might take prevent you from taking that first step.

If you’ve considered talking with a counselor, but have concerns about how long the process will take, please give us a call. In one session, our counselors can usually get a pretty good sense of your needs and what will be involved in helping you. We can discuss your concerns and look for a solution built around your needs.

Why not take a step today?

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