Step 3: Thirteen session standard period
Thirteen sessions provides time to go in-depth and delve into our ways of responding.
As we progress on this path together, brief moments of insight will strengthen our self-awareness. We will also encounter resistances that offer food for thought. Both are perfectly normal. In a way, the first few sessions may seem like a “honeymoon period” (especially if you are new to therapy), as the ideas appear novel and new. In the final session, we engage in an informal review. Just like the trial period, the review summarises our journey so far, and new ground we may wish to explore. The only minor difference is that if we end the therapy, we will schedule a gradual “ending period.” This will enable us to reflect on the therapeutic journey, and the insights that emerged in the process.
If we decide to continue, the therapy will progress as a series of periods, with a follow up review in the 13th session. This gives you the opportunity to reflect on the session, and where we go from here.
As therapy progresses, we may experience the typical highs and lows of the journey. At times, we may desperately struggle to progress yet feel that we are stuck and stagnating. In Gestalt terms, a “stuck” period is referred to as an impasse. A turbulent time in therapy, these conflicting feelings and emotions are all part of the journey. While frustrations are inevitable, breaking through these impasses can provide a cathartic sense of release. Acknowledging these struggles as part of the process makes it easier to accept and embrace them. Once we consciously shift our perspective, we can engage with them when they emerge.