The therapy process

Each session lasts 50 minutes.

Initial consultation

The initial consultation takes place in the first session (interview session). The therapist will ask questions in order to understand why the person is seeking therapy and what goals s/he wants to achieve. During this interview, the psychologist aims to gather information about the patient's history, and it is common to be asked questions about family life, social relationships, work, school and physical health.

The patient can also ask questions about the treatment.

The therapist can then provide some information about how CBT can help and suggest a frequency for sessions (usually once a week).

Nevertheless, it is important to highlight that each person’s history is complex, rich, unique and intricate. It takes more than a few sessions for the psychologist to understand the current difficulties in depth, their sources and what they may be related to.


If the patient decides to invest in psychotherapy, a specific day and time of the week is set for the sessions. These usually occur once a week, but may be more frequent, depending on the case.

It is difficult to predict the exact duration of treatment, as this depends on several factors: the severity of the symptoms, the duration of the disorder or problem (chronicity), the development of the therapeutic relationship, the degree of patient involvement in the treatment and the speed of change, which is very particular.

The therapeutic relationship (also called therapeutic alliance) is the bond that forms between psychologist and patient. It is expected that some sessions may be necessary before the patient feels comfortable and confident to open up completely. However, as in any psychotherapeutic treatment, it is important for the patient to empathize with the professional and trust his/her qualifications.

The treatment usually finishes when both psychologist and client identify and agree that the patient already has enough tools to deal with their difficulties and life circumstances. Sessions may be extended to 15 days intervals or stop altogether. It depends on each case and this is evaluated together with the patient.

As CBT is an approach in which both therapist and patient are very active and work together, treatment is continually re-evaluated. Thus, the psychologist may raise new hypotheses and formulations during the treatment as the patient provides new information.