Some patients have very, very serious problems and in those cases it's Important to say in therapy longer. But there are different kinds of therapy, as well as different approaches and beliefs. This will influence length of treatment.
Professionally, I try to move fast (although always mindful of how ready a patient is. Personally, I love when patients bloom early, and give my full blessing for them to go; always telling them they are welcome back if they want.
What complicates the speed is that our unconscious creates so much trouble, and without looking at it and accepting certain tendencies, the patient might be far from ready to go fast, and resistances to treatment go stronger. So there is less readiness. In these cases, it's most important to focus on this first (and of course deep listening, showing empathy and care, and cultivating trust). It's a delicate dance, and one that requires skill and sensitivity.
If you are interested in short term therapy communicate that to your therapist from the get go.
While I integrate different approaches, I am skeptical of professionals who give a number of sessions or months, because there is a lot to discover and different patients have unique styles, engagement in the process, and readiness. But yes, shorter therapies work for many. Through my 17 years of counseling, I learned that tools and coping strategies are wonderful and help a lot, but it doesn't last long. This is because it doesn't get to the root or bottom of the problem and doesn't resolve it.
I believe that it's best to stick around until that is accomplished. And I will repeat that it is the real commitment, and ironically dedication and courage that heal the problem faster. What matters more: how long you go to therapy, or fully resolving the problem? The only valid answer here is your own...
I have two questions for you: which would you prefer and why? Do you have any apprehensions about being in therapy?
No need to answer. Just suggestions for thoughts.
I hope this was helpful. But please know that therapists can think in very different ways. So my disclaimer is that all I said comes from my 17 years of counseling, what I learned from professionals I respected and who blew my mind away with insight and knowledge, and creativity, and some trial and error. What's most important, especially in the beginning (but better when always) is how you feel with your therapist, that you feel safe and can feel it will be possible to form a sense of connection with the therapist.
Best of luck!
Vanessa P. Caskey, Psy.D.