That's a tough question!
Short-term counselling is focused and lends itself to be effective when the concentration is about making progress and striving to achieve practical solutions to presenting issues; an attempt to find resolve; or to simply gain insight to a problem or issue(s). Between 4 - 7 sessions can provide new insight, clarity and direction.
Longer term counselling can be more intense as greater depth and breadth of understanding is sought. However, there is no best duration of time as each client is unique and treated as such based on the client's own goals, needs, wants, emotional and cognitive readiness. Longer term counselling does allow us to explore complex dynamic issues that impact the ability to live optimally.
Brief counselling, usually involves no more than 3 sessions with a focus on gaining perspective, insight with psycho-education to empower the client to move from feeling stuck to feeling empowered. It tends to be specific goal directed.
Each session is approximately between 50 minutes - 1 hour.