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How to Determine How Often to Come to Therapy

This article will help you gain clarity on how often you would like to come to therapy to start, and how to know when it’s time to increase or reduce session frequency.


How often you come to therapy is a personal choice, and one that I ultimately leave up to my clients. Your choice will likely take into account the time you have in your schedule, your personal finances, commitment, and space I have available in my schedule.


General Guidance on Frequency


Finances and time permitted, I strongly recommend coming once a week or once every two weeks to start, and decreasing frequency over time. This helps us build our relationship and hit the ground running. In general, the most important guidance on how often to attend therapy will be your own body, which will give you signs about what you need and when it’s time for a change. Below, you will find more information on how to choose your frequency.


Once A Week


When to use this frequency: This is a good frequency for people who are just starting out. It's also a solid choice for people who have a lot they want to work on, always feel like they have “material” to bring to sessions, and are deeply committed to doing inner work on a regular basis. This can also be a good temporary frequency if you need extra support.


When to reduce frequency: If you begin to notice that you’re using sessions “just to talk,” often realize that you don’t know what to use the sessions for, or notice you’ve made personal improvements in your life and have less that “comes up” during the week, these may be signs to reduce frequency. You may also choose to reduce frequency after some time in order to challenge yourself to lean more on your own core self and inner wisdom.


Once Every Two Weeks


When to use this frequency: This is another good frequency for people who are just starting out therapy. It's also a great choice for people who want ongoing, regular support as they are actively doing inner work, but don't necessarily need weekly support.


When to increase frequency: So much happens in 2 weeks that you find yourself wanting to use therapy sessions just to catch me up on everything and we don’t have time to address deeper patterns, you need extra support, or you find yourself regularly in “crisis mode”


When to decrease frequency: If you notice that you frequently don’t know what to use the sessions for, you have very few personal problems to work on or topics to explore, or realize that you’ve met most of your goals and feel pretty satisfied with where you are in life, it may be good to transition to once a month or as-needed sessions


Once a Month


When to use this frequency: This is a good frequency for people who have been coming to therapy for a while and feel pretty satisfied with where they are, have met most of their goals, and want regular, ongoing sessions for maintenance, general wellbeing, spiritual growth, or support when life inevitably throws curveballs


When to increase frequency: So much happens in a month that you feel overwhelmed between sessions and wish you had more support. You find yourself using therapy sessions to catch me up about everything that happened since we last saw each other, and there isn't enough time to make deeper changes on ongoing patterns. Or, you feel like you need extra support


When to reduce frequency: You feel like you’ve gotten what you need from therapy for the most part, and want to move to an as-needed basis


As-Needed Sessions


When to use this frequency: You’ve worked through some major stuff already and feel pretty great, but want to be able to reach out for help for specific issues as they arise in your life


When to increase frequency: You keep running into the same patterns and problems, and don’t feel like the underlying issues have been resolved.


A note: If you choose this frequency, I will do my very best to accommodate your wishes. However, please keep in mind that my schedule tends to be full, and you may need to wait a little while before I can fit you in!


Twice a Week


When to use this frequency: This is chosen very rarely. This is typically a good frequency if you are going through a specific, acute problem, need extra support for a short amount of time, or have something you want to work on in an intensive way. This can be a good frequency in the short-term if needed, but I typically do not recommend this in the long-term.


Termination... or "Graduation!"


Termination is something to consider when you feel like you’ve gotten what you needed out of therapy and would like to graduate!


It’s also a good option if you’d like to transition to another provider who specializes in a specific issue that I don’t specialize in, or just want to try a different method. Additionally, it can be a good option if you’re finding that I or my methods simply aren’t a match for your needs, and you’d like to try an approach that is, say, more cognitive, behavioral, concrete, etcetera.


If you do decide to terminate for any reason, please just let me know. No hard feelings and I will wish you the best on your continued journey! I will also be here for you if you need me in the future.


When and How to Tell Me You'd Like to Make a Change


How often you come to therapy will always be up to you. Listen to your own body and needs, and let that guide your decision. If you want to come to therapy more often, please let me know and I will do my best to accommodate you, space permitting. If you’d like to come less often, please tell me as soon as you've made your choice. I prefer to know sooner rather than later so that I can create space for others who need my help. I will also celebrate with you about the progress you’ve made!


See you in session!


-Emma


P.S., if you're new here and feel ready to book a consultation, you can submit your interest using this page.

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