How to get Fast and Effective Results in Counseling

Thursday, July 06, 2017 @ 2:54 PM

Get the most out of the fewest appointments—for faster and cost-effective results!Would you like to get faster (and better) results for your issues?Would you like to spend less money? There’s an easy, often overlooked way to get faster results. This approach is also more cost-effective, because you will need fewer sessions. It’s a win-win!

Motivation and consistent counseling helps you get the most out of the fewest appointments. And delaying appointments only delays the time before you get the results you want. Clients who are less motivated and prolong treatment by setting excessively long gaps between appointments usually end up needing more appointments overall than they would have needed.

Spreading out treatment with several weeks in between appointments can appear to be cheaper (paying less on a per-month basis). But that only makes it harder to get progress because session time is used on new issues, rather than addressing the root problem. A client who uses such an approach needs more sessions over time, and waits longer before getting the results they want.

Understanding what Counseling Actually IS

To get the most out of counseling, it’s absolutely essential to understand what counseling actually IS. Put simply, counseling is effective GUIDANCE to help you SET AND REACH (realistic) GOALS.

The real therapy is what happens BETWEEN sessions, when you apply what you’ve learned in counseling to your life; making better choices, changing your behavior, and improving your relationships.

Making these changes can be challenging, and “backsliding” (returning to your standard, less helpful behaviors) is more likely the longer you wait between sessions.

Optimal Treatment Plan

In most cases, it is recommended to begin with weekly sessions because this gives the client enough time to start implementing guidance from the session, and less time to backslide. Making positive changes gets the client ready for the next challenge. When a client is busy growing and adjusting to the therapist’s guidance, not only can they avoid backsliding, they can also minimize the risk of developing additional issues.

Example of Why Consistency Matters

Like counseling, health treatments also require consistency. They’re only cured when a patient follows their doctor’s recommendations—as referenced in this example:

If you’ve taken antibiotics, your doctor (hopefully) made a point to tell you to be consistent in taking your medication until you have completed the treatment. Many doctors report It’s common for patients to stop medication as soon as they start feeling better—but the strongest bad bacteria (the stuff you really want to get rid of) is hanging on, and comes back with a vengeance; this makes the patient sick all over again. (Referenced information: https://blog.oup.com/2011/11/antibiotics/)

In reality, counseling works in a very similar way. It is common for a client (or couple) to come for a session or two, feel better, and stop counseling, only to return a few months later—realizing that they stopped before working on or resolving the root of their issues. When deep, meaningful change has not taken place, the same issue or an issue that arises from the unaddressed root problem appears.

It might seem that the original problem was fixed, but the client (or couple) had only learned to avoid, or tiptoe around that problem. It alleviated the symptom, but not the “disease”.

Change (or more precisely, worrying about making a change) can make change seem painful. This is why it takes time—AND CONSISTENCY—to make a positive, permanent change. This pain often causes clients to cancel or unnecessarily appointments.

As mentioned, delaying appointments only delays the time before you get the results you want. It also allows additional time to develop unhelpful behavioral patterns which can create problems. Like the example with antibiotics—you could end up wiping out only the easiest problems first…but without learning to properly develop healthy behaviors and coping skills, you’re unable to tackle the remaining problems.

So, in short—
Get Motivated!
Get consistent treatment!
Get faster results for the positive, permanent change you need!