Do You Have To Be in Therapy Forever?

Do You Have To Be in Therapy Forever?

“Do I have to be in therapy forever?” is a common question you may be asking if you are in therapy for depression. There are many depression myths that circle around therapy as the sole treatment, and some think that therapy is a lifelong path. Newer options, in addition to therapy, may be helpful as you travel the road from depression to a better life.

We know that your therapy is important to your healing from depression, but there may be other methods to use when therapy is not as effective as desired. TMS, a more recent method, has been used successfully to treat depressive disorders.

What is Depression?

Depression makes itself known as feelings of hopelessness, sadness, and emptiness. You may have trouble being with friends as well as problems with sleeping, eating, and simply functioning. When this issue lasts for two weeks or more, it is considered major depression or a depressive disorder, a serious, although treatable, problem.


In the United States, 30,000 people commit suicide each year, 60 percent of whom suffered from major depression. Although many people feel low or sad for some period in their lives, depression that lasts two weeks is considered major depression. It may interfere with work, study, family time, sleep, and the general enjoyment of life. There are different types of depression, as well as people, but all the forms may benefit from treatment.

Symptoms may include the following:

  • Decreased energy
  • Irritability
  • Change of eating habits
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • And more

Therapy is one type of treatment that is used, and there are different types of therapies that have been proven to be effective in fighting and overcoming depression. But there are misconceptions relating to therapy, and many myths are present when it comes to the therapeutic process. One myth stands out above the rest and often has people wondering, “Do I have to be in therapy forever?”

The Forever Myth

Depression myths relating to getting well abound. The main myth is that once you begin therapy for depression, it will last forever. This is not the case, however, since most therapy is short-term. Much of outpatient therapy lasts for approximately 10 sessions. Your session of 50 minutes may be held on a weekly basis and may be spread out over a period of time. Often booster sessions may be later needed.

Your therapist may establish goals regarding your therapy to treat depression. The best therapists will set goals that are clear, with the idea of ending therapeutic sessions at some point.

How Long Should Therapy Last?

The earlier the treatment begins, the more effective that depression therapy will be. Psychotherapy and behavioral therapy, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, may be used. Each person is unique, so there is no one answer for how many sessions you should have. However, even with trial and error for the right therapy, goals should be established. There should be an end in sight.

Psychotherapies that have proven effective with depression include talk therapy, often referred to as psychotherapy. This can be used with other evidence-based therapies that include the following:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Interpersonal therapy
  • Problem-solving therapy

Group therapy and family therapy may also be used to speed up recovery from depression. There is a light at the end of this tunnel. Sometimes therapy may need a boost, and another type of treatment may be required.

Another Answer

There is another answer to your question, “Do I Have to be in Therapy Forever?”. It is the use of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) that can be used for people of all ages. It has been effective for people who suffer from treatment-resistant depression.

TMS, which is short for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, is a newer form of treatment that has been used successfully for a number of depressive disorders. It is being utilized for people who suffer from major depressive disorder, chronic depression, postpartum depression, and medication-resistant depression. According to NCBI, It is relatively safe and tolerable in adolescents with depression, when used with appropriate precautions.

What does TMS do? It works on the left dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex. This is the part of the brain that goes dormant when you encounter depression. The patient is seated in a chair and is relaxed, while the Brainsway TMS machine rests on the head. It pulses for 18 minutes, after which the patient is free to go home. If you have had TMS, you are then free to drive home or go back to your job. Treatment time lasts from six to eight weeks.

It is non-invasive and does not require anesthesia. Pulses of about 30 seconds pass through the skull to stimulate that part of your brain that affects moods. A professionally trained technician administers the treatment. Any side effects of TMS are usually minimal. Approximately 1 in 3 patients experience some scalp sensations. Others report having a light headache after the session. The technician can reduce the magnetic field strength to reduce discomfort if the patient feels any pain.

Hope For Healing

With Pulse TMS as a tool for depression, you have another method in your toolbox to fight the feelings of sadness, hopelessness and guilt that have hijacked your life. While other myths surround depression, its causes, and treatment, the one about therapy is persistent. Pulse TMS wants you to have the knowledge and power to choose the right solutions to heal from depression. Knowing what options are available is the first step in knowing that your future can be brighter, and your outlook on life can be improved.

Why suffer from debilitating depression? Therapy is effective but another road may be worth exploring. If you, or someone that you love, suffers from depression, our treatment may be right for you. You may have questions; we can provide answers to help you learn more about Pulse TMS. Contact us to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how transformation to a more positive and happier life can begin, without being in therapy forever.