Taking the right amount of time
It’s important to take the right amount of time in a psychotherapy session. The standard amount of time is one hour for a typical CBT session. However, the time for each session may need to be tailored to best help you recover from traumatic experiences. When treating psychological trauma it may be that sessions can last 90 minutes. Sometimes, it may be necessary to have longer sessions still for particularly distressing memories. Your therapist will explain the different options to you before longer sessions alongside the rationale for these.
It’s important to take time for the length of treatment. In terms of treatment duration - whilst it is possible to successfully treat certain problems in short durations of treatment - sometimes longer treatments are needed. For example, complex PTSD may need 25 or more sessions. Some forms of trauma, particularly when they have happened in childhood may require even longer courses of therapy. This will be explained at the start of treatment and should be kept under regular review.
There are a few things within CBT that will help you make the most of therapy. Having clear goals can be helpful to keep you and your therapist focussed on what matters to you in your recovery. Having an agreed agenda or to do list for each session will also help you and your therapist prioritise what should be covered within each session. Another important aspect of CBT is therapeutic work that you will be encouraged to do in between therapy sessions. This will enable you to also be having therapy outside the therapy session. Ultimately, all these different elements of therapy will help you to become your own therapist, so that you
can put what you learn from therapy into practice.