How many sessions will it take me to feel better?

Generally, when you start therapy a psychologist will provide you with a tentative timeframe, however, this will need to be revisited throughout therapy. In a 2013 study psychology clients received an average of 11 cognitive behaviour therapy sessions with a range between four and 31 sessions. Solution focused brief therapy has been shown to be effective with only three to five sessions. There are a number of types of therapy which generally take 12 months or longer. One such therapy is called Dialectical Behaviour Therapy and the standard protocol for that is 12 months of group and individual sessions. This means people who have a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder or another eating disorder can access 40 psychotherapeutic sessions and 20 dietetic sessions. Some people experience cyclical mental health concerns where they need psychological support for weeks or months but then function quite well in between these periods. That said, the length of treatment is affected by many variables. These may include the severity and complexity of the mental health condition, the type of therapy being provided, the supports you have, and/or the amount of information that was gathered in the assessment.

I have had periods of depression since I was about 15 years old. I have seen a psychologist and generally my mental health has been pretty good until I got really sick with a cold recently. It took me a while to get over the physical symptoms and I went through a rough time of depression. Why would a cold lead to me having depression?

Recent research advances in DNA, the immune functioning, and brain science have led to a greater understanding of the interaction between our minds and bodies. Now we know that our brains and body are connected in multiple ways. The idea that stress can influence our immune system has been demonstrated in many ways. These include research which has shown that children who experience more adverse experiences have more health problems in adulthood, animals who have been stressed have reduced ability to fight infection, and people who experience chronic stress develop more inflammatory diseases. In terms of your situation where you became physically unwell first, we now understand that the immune system can send signals to the brain. Our advice would be to ensure you are using the psychological skills that have helped you in the past. Also ensure you are resting as these symptoms are your body and minds ways of communicating what they need.