How Often Should You Go To Therapy?
Many people who are considering seeking therapy wonder about several factors. These can include where to find a therapist, what credentials their therapist should have, and how often they should go to therapy.
These questions may seem simple enough, but the answers to them depend on a few things.
Therapy isn’t a one size fits all service. People have complex lives, so their therapy will need a tailored approach. For instance, a couple seeking relationship counseling may require fortnightly sessions.
Those seeking help for depression may see a therapist weekly, or even biweekly, depending on the severity of their mental health.
In most cases, you and your therapist will work out a plan that helps you get the help you need. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to know what points will be considered when working out how often you’ll be going to therapy.
You’ll find a breakdown of these factors within this article.
How Often Should You Go To Therapy?
Everyone’s therapy journey looks different, but several things will affect the length and frequency of your treatment plan. These factors include:
What Type Of Therapy You Need
Many therapists use skills from different areas in their work, but others decide to follow a strict method. The therapy you choose will define how often you should go to sessions.
For instance, a therapist may use reprocessing and eye movement desensitization processes to treat trauma.
This work takes a lot of time and effort, so they may advise you to either go to frequent sessions, say twice a week, or increase the length of their session to an hour and a half.
Don’t be worried if you’re unsure about what therapy you want to choose. Most therapy sessions occur every week or every other week. You can always communicate with your therapist about what your preferences are.
Your Commitment Level
Your commitment and investment level you have in therapy is a huge factor that affects the frequency of your sessions.
A lot of people believe that therapy just takes place during the session. This isn’t true. The session is an important part, but you need to put the guidance given by your therapist into practice.
Healing and recovering requires you to do the necessary work in your day-to-day life.
If you are fully invested and ready to work towards your desires outside of each session, you may not need to see your therapist too often.
If you feel like you’d struggle to keep accountable and need more help, you might benefit from regular sessions.
Therapy is an investment into your mental health, but like all good things, it isn’t free. Your budget is a practical reason that may affect how many sessions you can take.
Those who have a lower budget or don’t have much money outside of the essentials may have to opt for fewer sessions.
However, if you feel like therapy would be a great help, you can work with a therapist to make a suitable plan. Ideally, this will suit your financial position, but should still allow you to get the help that you need.
For instance, if your budget limits you to two sessions a month, but your therapist thinks you need weekly help, they may check in with you over short phone calls for a lower fee.
Another example is that they may give you a link to a support group when you don’t have a session booked.
This is an opportunity for you and your therapist to creatively find ways to help you without exceeding your financial requirements.
Your Therapist’s Schedule
You have to fit therapy into your daily routine, but your therapist has to do the same too. Your therapist’s schedule is another practical issue that can affect the frequency of your sessions.
Do enquire about this factor when searching for a potential therapist. Some professionals may be more booked than others.
Remember that if a prospective therapist isn’t as available as you anticipated, this might not be a bad thing. They may schedule their sessions with more purpose so their clients can get more out of the sessions.
Therapists should give you the time, space, and energy to divulge your needs comfortably. A good therapist should always be aware of their schedule so that they don’t book too many sessions.
The Issue You’re Working On
Therapy will look different for every individual. Some issues will take more time to treat than others, though this will depend on the person themselves too.
Issues like childhood trauma or anxiety may take more time to treat than someone dealing with a specific encounter. Everyone is different, but issues that stem deep into our childhood will take more time to resolve.
It may be difficult to hear that your situation will take a long time to treat, but the most important thing is that you’re working towards better mental health.
The Recovery Period
The place you’re currently in is another factor that determines the frequency of your sessions. In most cases, those that are just beginning with therapy will need to see their therapist more regularly.
The same goes for those who are going through a crisis, as they’ll need more support.
Conversely, those who have had past sessions and have made good strides in the name of progress will need fewer check-ins. Depending on their needs, they may need to see their therapist after a few weeks or every month.
They’ll need to keep doing the necessary work outside of therapy, but they won’t need as much support if they are feeling stable.
We hope that this article will give you a better understanding of how often you should go to therapy. The above factors will show you that therapy looks different for everybody.
Those who are trying to treat substance abuse issues or eating disorders will need more sessions than those struggling with a specific work issue.
Practical issues, like budget and your therapist’s schedule, are also points to consider. If you have a lower budget, you’ll need to discuss ways to get support out of your sessions with your therapist.
If you’re just starting therapy and aren’t sure about how frequent your meetings should be, weekly visits are a good place to begin from.
The most important thing is finding a trustworthy therapist you can confide in. Once you’ve done this, you can work with them to create a plan that suits you.
Author: Michelle Landeros, LMFT
Michelle Landeros is a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist (LMFT). She is passionate about helping individuals, couples and families thrive.
Last updated: February 28, 2024