Session time length:
All sessions are 45 - 50 minutes long but I like time flexibility so if we are in the middle of something important I will occasionally let it run over without additional charge. Increased time or session frequency can also be arranged when there is much emotional complication and, when there is an immediate need to reach some stabilizing resolution. I also usually alot some extra time for the first session because of so much information gathering.
Number of sessions per week:
Sessions are usually once a week but if the Couple is in crisis I recommend two sessions per week till the crisis passes. If finances are a problem session frequency can be decreased.
Sometimes one member of the couple is resistent to coming for counseling, in which case I recommend that the interested partner comes in for one individual session, which usually then encourages the other partner to join the next time.
Generally I see the couple together and then each individually (usually the woman first) and then the couple together again, at which time the situation is evaluated and recommendations occur. With lack of resolution additional sessions are scheduled and the sequence repeated.
Total Number of Sessions:
Sometimes resolution of issues occur after one session. However, more frequently, the situation is much more complex. If the couple has reached the point that they are in need of counseling, the problems are probably at a stage that additional sessions are required. The number of additional sessions is impossible to determine in advance. It totally depends upon the couple and the way they function. I give the mental and emotional tools but it is the couple that does the work. If they leave everything up to the counselor not much progress will occur. For successful problem resolution it takes effort by both members of the relationship. However, just the participation in the counseling process usually will strongly increase motivation to put in that effort.