There is no absolute answer to this. Please remember that every child and their unique situation will require different lengths and measures for the healing process to be complete. For example, child separation anxiety can run really deep if it has been left untreated for a long period. Meanwhile, a recent divorce in the family may be a continuous, revolving door of contradicting, unexplained emotions. And bullying can present its own set of other ‘hidden skeletons.’ The list goes on…
The other thing to know is that often, once one issue has been worked through in child therapy sessions, another one can easily pop up. Children are not a ‘fix it and forget it’ project, as you know. They are growing, and constantly evolving emotionally, psychologically and physically. This maturing process in itself can present new challenges constantly.
With that all said, you can expect that for a reasonable outcome, the initial ‘package’ of sessions should be around 15-20, regular set appointments. Sometimes, fewer or more sessions are needed. However, you’ll notice positive changes surrounding specific symptoms even after the first few sessions. This is only to give you a general idea, however. It is also an estimate that assumes the child’s environment outside of therapy is conducive to the healing process.
Please also note that the continuity and predictability of these sessions, and maintaining a weekly schedule, is extremely important. Developing new neural pathways in the brain requires repetition to be effective.
I encourage you to take advantage of my free 15-minute therapist’s consultation, which will allow me to better assess your family and child’s situation. I’ll thus be able to give you a more accurate estimate and answer to this question. But estimates are only that – family therapists can’t provide guarantees on the unpredictability of human life!