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How often do you need to go to therapy? Like everything in the realm of the mental health ecosystem, nuance is the norm and context is everything. There is no single right answer. But we’ll break it down with you. 🙂

In 2020, just over 20% of Americans over the age of 18 received mental health treatment. While we shout from the rooftops that EVERYONE needs a therapist, we are happy to know that about 1 in 5 American adults are seeking mental health care for themselves. As stigma decreases, that number will swell.

Treatment frequency will not be the same with each person. While one individual may go to therapy multiple times a week, another may see their psychiatrist only once in the whole year. And those two people may exchange frequencies of therapy visits in the next year. Our goal is making a way for that 20% to become 100%, no matter how often you need to see your therapist/clinician.

Whatever your reason for seeking out mental health care, there really is no standard starting schedule. Typically, but not always, therapists start with weekly sessions as you get to know one another.

From there, the clinician works with you to find the right rhythm. It could increase to biweekly, or it could expand time out a bit to a monthly session. If they prescribe medication or a specific treatment plan, the frequency may be higher at first so that you can be evaluated safely. 

One of the biggest drivers to scheduling is the severity of your presenting concern coupled with your commitment to put in the work (both inside and outside sessions). Growth and healing require investing your own time and energy from start to finish; simply going to therapy or taking a prescribed medication won’t achieve your wellness goal. Bet on yourself, remember? Believe you are worth the effort. Because you are. 🙂

Practically, availability plays a huge part in frequency as well. The mental health workforce is dealing with shortages globally, so your clinician’s schedule may be limited by waitlists, appointment duration, or even clinician self-care (because we want therapists to take care of themselves too!).

Similarly, your budget could play a role in how often you go to therapy. While mental healthcare is one of the greatest investments you can make, it ain’t free. Clinicians spend a loooooong time in school and training to have the expertise to provide the best care for you. They deserve compensation! If finances are ever a hindrance, talk directly with your clinician about what options are available. They aren’t in it for the money; they want to see you feel better.

Speaking of therapists, what do the mental health clinicians think about how often they want to see you? This is what one of our clients had to say: “We love seeing our patients! Y’all are an ambitious bunch of folks because you’re bravely taking the step to feel better. We’re proud to work with you.” That’s what betting on yourself is all about!

They add, “We also want you out of our office. Seriously. Our goal is to ‘work ourselves out of a job,’ and so we work diligently to inform, educate, and support you during your journey.” 

Notice how they didn’t suggest any specific amount of time or frequency? Instead, they focus on “your journey,” which is exactly what it sounds like. Your path to healing and wholeness in your own mental health will not look the same as someone else’s. The therapist’s job is not to limit you, but equip you to expand upon your unique journey of self-discovery and growth. 

Simply Psych is devoted to helping the mental health workforce have more time to treat more people. We’re expanding the mental health ecosystem to help people find the best fit for mental healthcare. To learn more, visit us at www.simplypsych.com.

Find us wherever you are.