Today, we live in a world where rapid results tend to be guaranteed - quick weight loss via the latest diet, get-rich quick schemes, learn a new language in a matter of weeks, speed dating and so on and so forth. But in reality, these schemes rarely lead to lasting change. Therapy for emotional distress is another situation where promises of quick change often fall flat, especially for deep rooted difficulties, or those resulting from a troubled childhood. Short term counselling can be very productive for certain difficulties, but for many it can feel like a 'sticking plaster' - something that covers the visible wound, but that doesn't touch the underlying distress.
Long-term therapy, or therapy without a time limit, can be a wonderful opportunity to unpick, work through and leave behind struggles you may have had for many years. It is at your pace - I won't push you out after a certain number of sessions whether you feel better or not, expect you to work to an agenda that is not your own, or faster than feels comfortable. It enables deeper working, and therefore deeper change. Indeed we know that therapy can help change the way our brain is wired for good. What does this mean? Instead of responding in your usual 'default' way to stressful situations, therapy can help you develop emotional resilience, where you are no longer overwhelmed by the things life can throw at us. Life can become richer and more fulfilling.
What kind of default responses are we talking about? Perhaps you fly off the handle with others (or yourself) when things go wrong, resort to self-harm of any number of forms (for instance, cutting, disordered eating, alcohol or drug binges, or suicide attempts), either push people you love and care about away or cling to them as if your life depended on it, or you feel generally overwhelmed by emotions, perhaps to the point that you cut off from the world around you (via daydreaming, losing chunks of time, or doing things you can't remember doing).