Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does Therapy for One Take?

The length of therapy for one is dependent on the issue. Some people get exactly what they need out of one session and some come to therapy for years. Most people are somewhere in between. You can expect:

  • After your first session, to feel like your therapist has a grasp of the problem.

  • After your fourth session, to feel like your therapist has a strategy and goals to move you forward.

  • After your eighth session, noticing shifts within yourself in your life outside of the counseling room.

How Long Does Couples Therapy Take?

Couples therapy can be a short or a long journey-or somewhere in between. One of the biggest indicators of how long thorough therapy will take is how long the problem has persisted. We often find the "issues" couples are bringing in are more symptomatic of a pattern of interaction. This pattern can be relatively easy to shift if both partners are in agreement about changing the pattern. This is what you can expect:

  • After your first session, to feel like your therapist understands some aspects of the problem and the dynamic between you and your partner.

  • After your second session, to feel like your therapist knows the background of the problem and the dynamic between you and your partner.

  • After your fifth session, to have a general understanding of the problematic dynamic that keeps you and your partner from connecting over tough issues and pleasant experiences.

  • After your eighth session, to have some experiences of "breakthroughs" and connection with your partner in the therapy sessions.

  • After your twelfth session, to have some experiences outside of therapy of stopping the entrenched negative dynamic and celebrating this success.

  • After your sixteenth session, being able to more regularly connect with your partner and not feel as though the relationship is on eggshells as frequently.

How Long Does Premarital Counseling Take?

Like couples therapy, the length of premarital counseling varies. The biggest indicator of how long it will take is how long you have been in the relationship. Typically, the longer you are with someone, the longer therapy takes. However, premarital counseling is usually shorter than couples therapy. You can expect a minimum of four sessions with your counselor for premarital counseling. Your counselor will provide you with an assessment of areas of strength and areas for continued growth in your relationship journey!

What Will My First Session Be Like?

Whether you are coming in for individual, couples, or premarital counseling, there will be a few key elements to every first session.

  • Your counselor will ask what is bringing you into counseling. The more transparent you are in this first session, the more effective therapy will be.

  • Your counselor will ask about previous counseling experiences. Specifically, what was helpful and what was not.

  • Your counselor will give you a preliminary assessment and suggestion for treatment.

How Often Should I Come?

In the beginning stages of counseling, it is important to come at least weekly. We recommend the following guidelines based on the research regarding positive therapeutic outcomes:

  • Individual Counseling: 4 times over 4 consecutive weeks

  • Couples Counseling: 12 times over 12 consecutive weeks

  • Premarital Counseling: we can't find any research on this but we see consistent good results after 4 times over 4 consecutive weeks

*Your counselor reserves the right to recommend more or less frequent treatment. ​

**Your counselor may recommend termination of services if you are unable to commit to regular appointments. 

***We recognize it is not always possible to adhere to this degree of regularity. Please discuss with your counselor if you have concerns in this area.

Will My Therapist Tell My Partner What to Do?

Most therapists would likely agree that we will NOT tell you or your partner directly what to do as we believe that YOU are the expert on YOUR life. We do not wish to control your actions, instead, our goal is to help you understand how these actions impact one another so that you are better able to connect with your partner...Continue reading on our blog.

Will My Therapist Tell Me If I Should Get a Divorce?

As therapists, our job is to clarify the current difficulty of your situation, outline the problematic dynamics in your relationship, and help you distill your options. We can be diagnostic and direct about your current relationship distress and can help you to better understand and organize your circumstances, but we will not tell you whether or not to end your relationship...Keep reading on our blog.

Little Bear Counseling

406-356-6351

littlebearcounselingbozeman@gmail.com

333 Haggerty Lane, Suite 9

Bozeman, MT 59715

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