The duration of counseling depends on many factors, but solution-focused, cognitive, brief therapy is considered among the most rapid in terms of results obtained with an average of 12-16 sessions. Other forms of therapy, like psychoanalysis, can take years.
What enables solution-focused, cognitive, brief therapy to achieve goals more quickly, is its highly instructive nature and the fact that it makes use of homework assignments between sessions. Solution-focused, cognitive therapy is time-limited in that it helps clients understand at the very beginning of the process that there will be a point when the formal therapy will end. The ending of the formal therapy is a decision made by the therapist and client. As a result, solution-focused, cognitive therapy is not an open-ended, never-ending process.