A: There’s no simple answer to this. I try not to think of psychotherapy as a time-limited event, but as a journey in which there are always new places to discover. With that said, it is possible for us to work together for a short amount of time (between 6 to 8 sessions) to address one specific difficulty that has come up in your life.

But there’s that kind of counselling – a crisis response to a specific event or hardship – and then there’s the kind of counselling that’s designed to help you explore deeper into yourself, discover new ways of seeing, and navigate life circumstances as they come up. This kind of psychotherapy has no defined end, and can be a lifelong process for some people.

Some people find it enlightening to compare therapy to seeing a personal trainer. You might see a personal trainer for an intensive, limited amount of time to – for example – lose 10 pounds for a special event. But physical fitness, just like mental health, needs upkeep. You can’t just see your trainer for that short amount of time, never work out again, and expect to stay healthy.

That’s how counselling works, too; can we see each other for a short amount of time to address a specific issue? Absolutely. But I view counselling as a maintenance activity for your mental well-being, not as a crisis response. Even if we’ve finished working through the problem that brought you to my office, I’ll always keep the door open for continued conversations and “tune-ups” when you need it.