I typically conduct individual cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) on a weekly basis with 45-minute sessions at my private psychotherapy practice in Manhattan. Many of my clients move to every other week, monthly, or simply finish therapy once the initial suffering has significantly decreased and they have become confident they can use their newfound coping skills.
While efficiency is one of my goals, I don’t rush clients prematurely through a standard protocol. Instead I carefully assess each therapy client, so I can understand their unique aspects of personality, symptoms, relationships, values, and goals.
Many clients see the elimination of symptoms as the only goal, while others decide to also emphasize improvement beyond symptom reduction, e.g., becoming more effective as a manager at work, improving a particular relationship, or starting a new business.
These clients may choose to continue to work after initial symptoms of anxiety, anger, depression, or procrastination have largely been alleviated. The emphasis in my individual CBT therapy is ongoing assessment that focuses on customizing the therapy to the specific needs of the client. There is never pressure to stay beyond what is useful, but clients are also not rushed through a cookie-cutter process either.
Clients develop skills and learn to use tools that enable them to function at higher levels with independence. These changes allow them to not only eliminate current suffering, but to manage new challenges. They will not only eliminate old self-defeating behavioral patterns, but to establish new patterns aimed at growth. Many clients are surprised to easily handle situations they once dreaded and to embark into areas that once scared them, and achieve their goals. Along with these successes comes a new sense of confidence and a greater satisfaction of life.