This is one of the top therapy questions I’m asked by clients over the years. Early in my career, I actually answered the question by dodging it a bit. I would use words like “it depends”, or “It’s tough to say, but…”. Ultimately, I didn’t have any idea on how long it was going to take. And, I didn’t want to be on the hook if the therapy didn’t work. Even worse, we had a money back guarantee for services, so if the therapy didn’t work, I was also afraid my boss would think I was a terrible therapist. It was my first real test with accountability and self interest. I had managed to take a simple question from a client, who was hurting and asking for help, and make it into something all about me.
I also learned in those days that clients weren’t always asking the same question, even though they were using the same words. For some they were really asking “Am I fixable? Or am I the exception?”. Others were asking for a literal timeline. Others still were just asking about the daily commitment needed to get well. It took a few years to learn that it was ok to clarify the question before I answered it. I’ve come along way since those days. I spend zero time on my own accountability and as a result am able to help clients set reasonable expectations. Of course, now our clients are doing a DIY version of the therapy. They are their own therapists and are asking these questions of themselves.
When it comes to results, “How long will it take?”, lives in the early results you get with the therapy. After a couple of days we’ll know. We don’t have to guess, or give some weird timeline or crazy deflecting answer. We just need to see what kind of relief we’re able to get in the first week or so. We need to pay attention to how we feel and that will tell us the rest. The nature of expectations is to expect similar results to what we have achieved already. I have had clients with the miracle - where the pain goes away in one visit, never to return. I’ve also had the clients where “slow and steady wins the race”. In both cases, I had no idea until after we began. The key is to start. Start soon and you’ll know soon.
So, how long does it take?…30 minutes a day!