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Short-term therapy

Terapi nærbillede

At Bækkely, I mainly offer short-term therapy based on Acceptance & Commitment therapy (ACT) when it comes to adult clients. But short-term therapy is not discount therapy. It is a focused form of therapy where change in your life is the focus.

This means that a course with me should preferably take 3 – 5 sessions for an adult - and a maximum of 8 sessions. It is a little different for young clients - read more about therapy for young people here.

I have carefully chosen to work with short-term therapy because there is research that backs it up and because it fits with my focus on helping you facilitate change in your life.

  • Clients seek therapy mainly to relieve emotional pressure and get practical help in dealing with the situation. These two things are achieved for most clients within the first few therapy sessions (Brown & Jones, 2005).

  • 50% of the effect of therapy is achieved within the first 8 sessions (Howard, Kopta, Krause & Orlinsky, 1986).

  • The number of sessions does not say anything about clinical change – it is not a linear process. More sessions do not equal better effect. (Baldwin, Berkeljon, Atkins, Olsen & Nielsen, 2009).

  • Sudden, large and long-lasting effects can be seen within the first 2-4 sessions for 40-62% of clients (Strosahl, Robinso & Gustavsson, 2012 – p. 17).

With that research in hand, you can get many benefits from short-term therapy:

  • Focused treatment: Together we focus on treating specific problems or symptoms, such as anxiety or depression. You and I work together to set clear goals and a time frame for the treatment.

  • Increased motivation: Short-term psychotherapy can increase your motivation to work towards achieving your goals. A shorter time frame can lead to increased focus and commitment, and you may feel more motivated to take the necessary steps for your own journey towards change.

  • Less time and money: Short-term psychotherapy can be more affordable, as you don't have to invest as much time and money as in a longer-term form of therapy - or worry about it.

  • Faster results: Short-term psychotherapy can lead to faster results than longer-term forms of therapy. You should be able to start seeing improvements in your symptoms and quality of life after just a few sessions.

  • Less risk of getting stuck in the therapy: Short-term psychotherapy can reduce the risk of you becoming dependent on me as a therapist or the form of therapy, as the treatment has a clear end.


It is important to note that short-term psychotherapy is not the best solution for all people or problems. There may be cases where a more long-term form of treatment is more appropriate. If this is the case, I will focus on sending you on to an offer that suits your needs better or agree that we work together with another method (see e.g. section on treatment for young people).

Strosahl, Robinson & Gustavsson, 2012. Brief Interventions for Radical Change: Principles & Practice of Focused Acceptance & Commitment Therapy.

Brown & Jones, 2005. Implementation of a feedback system in a managed care environment: What are patients teaching us? Journal of Clinical Psychology, 61, 187-198.

Howard, Kopta, Krause & Orlinsky, 1986. The dose-effect relationship in psychotherapy. American Psychologist, 41, 159-164.

Baldwin, Berkeljon, Atkins, Olsen & Nielsen, 2009. Rates of change in naturalistic psychotherapy: Contrasting dose-effect and good-enough level models of change. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 77, 203-211.

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