Frequently Asked Questions
How frequently should I have sessions?
How frequently you book sessions depends on several factors. Your resources such as time, finances and health care benefits, as well as your level of distress and ability to engage in important areas of your life can all be considered. We may also want to consider the type of therapy you are doing. For example, if we are working on trauma, we may initially meet every 1 to 2 weeks.
Meeting weekly may make sense to you if you are feeling quite distressed, have the financial resources for this, and are having difficulties functioning in your day to day activities, work, studies and relationships. We may also meet this frequently if we are doing a more structured form of therapy such as EMDR for trauma.
Meeting every other week may feel good if you have a moderate amount of distress, are functioning relatively well, and have the financial resources or personal benefits to support this. Some people find this a good frequency to meet if they are getting into the routine of regular therapy appointments and are wanting to achieve personal growth in a particular area and in a shorter period of time.
Meeting every 3 to 4 weeks may be supportive if we have been working together for some time and you are trying to maintain the gains you have experienced in therapy. Those interested in general personal growth, are feeling low levels of distress, and don't have difficulties engaging in important areas of their life may also find this a good frequency to meet.
How many sessions will I need?
The number of sessions you may require to experience the changes you would like to see depend on a variety of factors. These many include: what you are seeking therapy for, the length of time in which you've been experiencing these concerns, and to what degree you are experiencing distress; the amount of and duration of adversity you have faced in your life (poverty, marginalization, racism, oppression, abuse, stigmatization, adverse childhood experiences, and pre-existing physical and mental health concerns). Contextual, structural, and environmental factors such as workplace, home life, acute and ongoing stressors, and the health of your personal relationships may also impact the length of time needed to see gains from therapy.
Another way to look at this is that the recommended time spent in therapy can also range according to therapeutic approach and the research conducted on this. Manualized therapy protocols (for example CBT approaches for trauma, OCD, anxiety, and depression) are often structured for a course of therapy to take a minimum of 10-15 sessions. Solution focused therapy will attempt to target a single issue in one 90 min session. Research has also shown us that for reliable improvement or "recovery", the number of sessions needed can span from 3 to over 50 (Lambert, 2013; Ogles, 2013).
Your growth and progress in therapy will also depend on your readiness for change, and the personal resources (time, energy, capacity) you have to dedicate towards our work in sessions and to your personal work outside of our sessions.