This question is one of the most common questions we hear during initial consultations from potential clients. The frequency of your sessions is based on a variety of factors, but typically the most common recommendation is to attend sessions weekly. This frequency allows you to establish rapport with your psychologist. Weekly sessions also position the psychologist well to get to know your history and identify your goals more rapidly so that you can start to work towards the change outcomes you are seeking. Often, folks with limited benefit plans will think that they should space out their sessions to maximize their benefit coverage. This is one of the most common myths. The strength of the therapeutic relationship is one of the most significant factors predicting therapeutic outcomes. Seeing your psychologist monthly or less can delay the development of a strong relationship between you and your psychologist. Additionally, your psychologist is much more likely to develop an effective treatment plan if they see you more frequently, as the details of your unique situation will be at the forefront of their mind.
Once a plan has been established to help you reach your mental health goals, the recommended frequency to attend sessions may vary. One factor your psychologist may consider is related to the timing of sessions in your overall schedule. For example, when working through past stressful or traumatic experiences, it is recommended that these sessions be timed well with other events in your life. Your psychologist may recommend that you have these sessions on days that you are not working or at the end of your workday, depending on how you respond to treatment. Your psychologist will be well-positioned to recommend the timing/frequency of your sessions once they have got to know you better and have observed how you have been responding to sessions. The goal is always to make the best use of your sessions based on your hope for change outcome.
Another factor that impacts the frequency of sessions is your treatment goal. Your psychologist will make a unique recommendation about how often you should schedule your appointments. This will be based on the duration of symptoms, the number of presenting concerns you want to work through, how you seem to be responding to treatment, and the complexity of your current mental health conditions. Once you establish a routine, you can eventually decide how long you want to continue your psychology sessions, which will vary from one person to another. Typically, those dealing with anxiety or life transitions, for example, will require a different number of sessions than a person who requires support following a diagnosis of PTSD or C-PTSD.
Cost and schedule will also influence your psychologist’s recommendation for the frequency of sessions. It’s important that you’re honest about this information at the outset of your therapy so that our psychologists can factor in your financial situation when making recommendations. Your psychologist is here to help you with your mental health goals regardless of the number of sessions that are feasible for you to commit to. Whether you want to improve your mental health, want to learn better coping mechanisms and skills or want to improve your sleep, your psychologist will work with you closely to create meaningful change in the time you spend together. Your commitment and engagement in the therapy will go a long way to help you see results.
The experts at Choice Point Psychological can help you create the change you’re after. We specialize in EMDR therapy, as well as cognitive behavioural therapy. If you are looking for experienced psychologists in the Calgary area, contact us today at 587-362-0640 for more information!