How long should psychotherapy last?

By: Bobbie Hasselbring

Psychotherapy, like antidepressant medication, doesn't work instantly. Some people begin to feel better right away. For most people, it takes 6 to 10 weeks to begin to feel better. Usually, the therapy lasts from 8 to 20 visits. Long-term, or maintenance, psychotherapy may be necessary.

More than 50% of people who use psychotherapy for mild to moderate depression feel better. If you don't feel any better within 6 weeks, or if you're not completely better in 12 weeks, talk with your doctor about other treatments.