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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How many sessions with a therapist should it take to fix anxiety stemming from early childhood?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 1


    Pamela Hoy

    Counsellor, Hypnotherapist

    Offering both Hypnotherapy and Counselling for my clients is a double opportunity to change unwanted feelings, thoughts, behaviours and reactions. Accessing both the conscious and … View Profile

     Every persons experience is different and the therapy that is best suited for them varies individually, as does the number of sessions. Therefore I believe there is no definitive answer to your question. Many people benefit from telling their personal experiences to a therapist as they are not a family member or friend, and they often feel more comfortable discussing the past with a professional.  The therapist will have many tools with which to help the client sort through their experiences and how they have been dealing with the past issues. 
    The therapist can assist the client to change the negative thoughts and feelings and to gain a more realistic and positive belief and understanding of themselves. As well as developing self confidence in the present time and how to look forward to the future with confident optimism. A blend of clinical hypnotherapy and counselling offer effective forms of therapy to assist with anxiety stemming from early childhood.
    Good luck for the future.

  • Michael Guy

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    I am a clinical and coaching psychologist ( with over 15 years of professional experience. Recognized qualifications and lots of experience to give me skills … View Profile

    It is always hard to estimate how many sessions of therapy a person will require.  I often tell people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that standard treatment is 20 sessions.  When early childhood experience or trauma is associated with an issue then you could be looking at longer term therapy.  Please don't let this put you off.  The average number of sessions people see a psychologist under Medicare is six which may be enough to learn some strategies to cope with anxiety.  I would note that I have seen clients who have made significant progress that have seen previous therapists and I often think the prior therapy helped them get ready to change.  Some longer term clients will come back for a few sessions each year to ‘top up’.  Each individual has their own path to follow so there is no predicting.

  • Anthony Berrick


    The answer to your question really depends on what you mean by 'fix' anxiety. If your goal is to completely eliminate any anxious feelings associated with your childhood so they never come back again, 20 sessions probably wouldn't even be enough. In fact, I would suggest this isn't even a realistic therapy goal in the first place.

    However, if your goal is to learn skills to handle feelings of anxiety so that they don't overwhelm you and get in the way of you leading a meaningful and fulfilling life, this is certainly an acheivable goal. Perhaps you would only need 4 to 6 sessions to make noticeable progress, depending on how committed you are to practicing what you've learned between sessions.

  • Jennifer Porter

    HealthShare Member

    I personally have seen a psychologist for a countless amount of appointments, yet I have found that sometimes only one or two appointments can create a massive change in anxiety and the thought processes surrounding the things that happened long ago. It really in my experience is related to how long it takes for your brain to change the way it views whats happened or for it to accept that you were not at fault. I suggest that the sooner you get help for these anxieties the better, as with time they are likely to instensify and be harder to get rid of with treatment.

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