In the field of psychotherapy, the therapies may be classified in two categories, if you take into account the criterion of time: short-term therapies and long-term therapies. The first ones range from one to about ten sessions, while the last ones tend to be longer.
If we take into account efficiency, there is enough evidence that both are effective, even if the critics question how long a quick fix could last. But because of our sense of urgency, we tend to choose the quick fix, and this is a good reason as long as it work.
The brief psychotherapies, such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Neuro-Linguistic Programming don’t focus on the past aspects of our life or on the causal explanations of our problems, but on solutions. A brief therapy can make all the difference, if you are motivated and take the commitment to do all needed tasks. And this is what makes them short and effective.
Sometimes though it’s not enough to take into account only the symptoms without understanding what caused them. According to your own situation, you can choose one of them:
A Single Session Could Help If You:
- Have a very specific problem, such as a new health diagnosis.
- Wonder if a particular situation and your reaction to it is normal.
- Have dealt successfully with life problems in the past.
- Have faith that your troubles could be addressed by a brief intervention.
Longer-Term Therapy Is a Better Bet If You:
- Want to understand your patterns of behavior and how they developed.
- Have had repeated difficulties with family and romantic relationships.
- Would like to accomplish more, but consistently shoot yourself in the foot.
- Are suicidal, psychotic, or suffer from a condition requiring medication.
What do you think? Are short-term therapies as effective as long-term therapies? What kind of therapy do you prefer?