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How Often Should You Go to Therapy?

Discover how therapy session frequency varies based on individual needs and therapeutic approaches. Learn about different options for session frequency and how they can impact your mental health journey. Remember, the duration and frequency of therapy should be determined with a healthcare professional.
Vector Infographic of How Often Should You Go To Therapy
Written by
Bloom Clinical Care Counselling and Therapy Services
March 12, 2023

There is no right or wrong when it comes to the frequency of therapy sessions. The main takeaway should be that the number and frequency of sessions required varies on an individual basis and the total duration of your therapy journey should be mutually determined by you and a healthcare professional. 

Unlike common belief, therapy is not applied as a “one solution, for all” . Each individual has their unique set of challenges and will need a customizable treatment approach for their specific situations. Therefore, the number of therapy sessions needed will vary on a case by case basis. 

Before you make any decisions about how often you will attend therapy, it is highly recommended to visit a licensed healthcare professional for their input. In most cases, this healthcare professional will be a clinical social worker, psychologist, psychiatrist, psychotherapist, physician, or a licensed counselor. 

During your initial appointments, your therapist will take the time to get to know you and your mental health struggles. This is also a chance for you to figure out whether they are a good fit for your personal needs – an important factor in the therapeutic process.

Attending an initial consultation or booking your first full session will also allow the therapist to gauge a baseline assessment of your presenting issues. Based on their assessment and expertise, they may be able to give you a range of sessions that are required for your situation. 

It is important to note that this range is not necessarily a “guarantee” that your issues will be resolved within the specified number of sessions, but rather an estimate based on the therapist's past experiences helping individuals in similar situations. The key takeaway is that the number of sessions needed will always vary per individual. 

Different Options for Session Frequency on your Therapy journey

Different therapists use various treatment approaches, based on their assessments of what you need. Depending on which approach is being used, different amounts of time will be required. Both long and short term therapy can be effective, and it all comes down to what you need as an individual. With this in mind take a look at some good options for the frequency of your future therapy sessions:

1. Weekly Therapy Sessions

If you have just started therapy for the first time or are about to begin, a weekly session is thought to be a good place to start. From this point, you could either decrease or increase the frequency of sessions as required and as mutually agreed upon with your therapist. Weekly sessions work well for those who wish to work on skills such as coping, communication or mindfulness. 

Weekly sessions are also great for those who are working through more specific problems. This could be grief, trauma, divorce, anxiety or depression among other things. When you attend therapy weekly it helps to reprogram the mind and break through old behavioral patterns. Regular therapy sessions may help to recognize unhelpful patterns in your thoughts and behavior.

2. Therapy Sessions Twice A Week

Going to therapy twice a week may seem excessive, but in reality there is a lot to gain from more frequent sessions. For starters, only attending therapy once a week can sometimes feel more like a consultation than an intimate exploratory relationship. Attending therapy weekly often means that you only get a chance to discuss one area of life or situation that happened in depth. 

On the other hand, two sessions per week allows the therapist and client to explore the challenges at a deeper level. The option of going to therapy twice a week is recommended for those who wish to apply the skills learned in therapy in a more practical way. Although you can still apply skills learned in weekly sessions to the real world, biweekly therapy serves to speed up the process.

3. Multiple Sessions Per Week

To attend multiple therapy sessions per week is typically reserved for those who are going through a form of crisis. Of course, crises can take many forms, but generally a state of crisis can be defined as when a person’s mental health is significantly preventing them from functioning normally in a major way. Multiple therapy sessions in one week are also important for those whose safety is at risk. 

Depending on your situation, your therapist may also recommend multiple sessions per week depending on their assessment of what kind of intervention is needed. This frequent form of therapy can be used by anyone going through major changes or transitions in life and at the recommendation of the therapist. Multiple sessions can assist you in staying emotionally healthy and psychologically supported.

4. Therapy Attended As-Needed

This form of therapy session frequency is usually employed by those who have been attending therapy for quite a while. This means that most of the core issues that sparked the need to go to therapy in the first place have been resolved. Whether attending therapy as-needed leads to monthly sessions or going regularly but sporadically, it is the most economic form of psychotherapy. 

After going to therapy for a long time, the patient and therapist develop a relationship – one that can be relied upon during tough times. When you go to therapy as-needed, it is the most flexible type of session that allows a person to address issues as they come up. That being said, it is probably best to initially attend more frequent sessions in order to be the most proactive about confronting any mental health challenges.

Different Types of therapy Need Different Timeframes

There are many different types of therapy, and each model requires a different timeframe. According to research, some forms such as psychoanalysis encourage frequent and long term sessions that can take years. On the other hand forms like cognitive behavioral therapy typically take place weekly, over a period of a few weeks.

Family, group or couples therapy tends to run for longer, based on the needs of the clients and the availability of the therapist. The delivery of therapy can also vary. Some opt in for in-person appointments while others may choose to join virtually by a video or a phone call.

An average therapy session takes around 50 minutes, but longer sessions offer an opportunity for more in depth sharing of experiences. Extra time can make space for deeper understanding between couples, families or group participants. It also means that new skills can be tried out under the supervision of your therapist who will in turn lend support. 

Generally, the duration of individual sessions is 50 minutes while group therapies such as family counseling or relationship counseling can last anywhere from 90 minutes to 2 hours. Some therapists also offer brief check up sessions. These are usually 15 to 30 min in duration and can take place as a quick phone or video call. Check up sessions are a great way for someone to get that slight boost or support during the day or week when they feel overwhelmed or are struggling with an unpleasant day. 

The Bottom Line

No matter whether you want to start therapy to address a specific problem, or in order to reach a certain goal, psychotherapy/counseling can be beneficial to anyone dealing with challenges in life. Some wish to explore deep traumas and mental health challenges while others are seeking ongoing support as a form of a healthy lifestyle. 

There is no right or wrong when it comes to the frequency of psychotherapy sessions. The main takeaway should be that the number and frequency of sessions required varies on an individual basis and the total duration of your therapy journey should be mutually determined by you and a healthcare professional. 


Are you struggling with your mental health? We may be able to help. 

At Bloom Clinical Care Counselling and Therapy Services, we have a team of Psychotherapists and Social Workers who are experienced and qualified to help you with your mental health. Our therapists can help with a wide range of mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, grief, couples therapy, child therapy, anger management, workplace stress, and stress management, to name a few. 

We currently have two locations, in Scarborough and Mississauga, to serve our clients and families across the Greater Toronto Area. All therapists on our team also provide virtual therapy across Ontario via phone and secure video calls. Our collective goal as a team is to help you flourish in life, guide you to your important milestone, and provide unwavering support. 

Scarborough Location

Our Scarborough Therapists are located at Third floor, 1200 Markham Rd suite 306 c, Scarborough, ON M1H 3C3 for in-person and virtual psychotherapy appointments.

Mississauga Location

Our Mississauga Therapist are located at 3024 Hurontario St #206, Mississauga, ON L5B 4M4 for in-person and virtual psychotherapy appointments. Similar to our Scarborough Psychotherapy clinic, the new Mississauga location also supports individuals, families, couples, and children seeking help with anxiety, panic attacks, depression, grief, couples therapy, relationship counselling, stress management, and child and youth counselling.

Struggling with you mental health? We may be able to help. Book a free consultation today.
Disclaimer: This article is solely intended for informational purposes and should not be construed as professional advice. The content of this article should not be used as a substitution to therapy, counselling, medical attention, or any kind of professional help. The author and Bloom Clinical Care Counseling and Therapy services strongly encourages readers to seek guidance from appropriate professionals if they are in need of assistance.