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At Change, Inc., clients often ask us how often they should come to therapy — it’s a great question!  Still other times, clients come in with their own ideas about how often they’d like to come.  What does the research say?  How often should people come to counseling?  What is the correlation between coming to counseling and reaching therapeutic goals. 


Counseling is a process that involves talking with a trained mental health professional to address problems in your life. During counseling, you’ll explore your feelings and thoughts about yourself, others, and the world around you. The goal of counseling is not only to help you feel better, which may come initially but is often more likely to come as a work of time and dedication,  but also to improve the quality of your life by helping discover what is hindering you from reaching goals you have, and interrupting the larger patterns in your life that can lead to a happy and successful existence. 

What about frequency?

Perhaps this goes without saying, but let’s be clear — you must come to counseling to get the benefits of counseling!  Frequency of sessions, especially in the initial phases, is absolutely correlated with outcome and this is overwhelmingly supported by research.  The more frequently someone receives counseling (i.e., how often they go), the greater their chance of reaching therapeutic goals such as improved mood or relationship satisfaction.   One study covered by the Boston Medical Center Journal examined 2,634 patients with things like anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, and personality disorders in an outpatient treatment programs at a large general mental health care facility.  Frequency of sessions was assessed for the first 90-days.  The outcome revealed that “In all diagnostic groups, both improvement and recovery were associated with a higher frequency of sessions during the first three months of treatment.”  As a result, the aurthors concluded trhat  Conclusions: “In addition to severity at start of treatment and other predictors of outcome, a low frequency of initial treatment sessions might lead to a less favorable outcome and a more chronic course of the mental disorder. This association seems not to be limited to a specific diagnostic group, but was found in a large group of patients with common mental disorders (depression and anxiety disorders) and patients with a personality disorder. Despite organizational obstacles, more effort should be made to start treatment quickly by an effective frequency of session.”  

The Benefits of Regular Psychotherapy Sessions

The benefits of regular psychotherapy sessions in a one to one sense are many. For one thing, they can improve your mental health by helping you cope with stress and anxiety. They also help you communicate more effectively with others, which can be especially beneficial if you’re struggling with social interactions or relationships. Finally, regular therapy sessions can help you develop better coping strategies for dealing with difficult situations in life–and who doesn’t want that?!

However, the larger benefit is not just feeling better session to session, but frequent sessions help address things that have been longstanding issues in your life.  Imagine coming to counseling work on something like depression, knowing that you’ve wrestled with these feelings on and off for most of your life.  It stands to reason that if it took 20 years or more to develop a depression struggle that warrants counseling, it will also take some time and energy (months and/or years) to sort through that.  The less frequently you come, the more your momentum is interrupted, the slower insights will come, and the longer it will take to recover.   When you only see your therapist once or twice per month, it can be difficult to stay consistent with treatment and track your progress. You may also be at greater risk of relapse if you’re not getting enough support from your therapist during the week.

Plain and simply, more frequent sessions is likely lead to quicker progress, while less frequent sessions may result in slower progress. At Change, Inc., clients must come weekly or bi-weekly for the first 90-days, as per our Informed Consent Agreement.  



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(314) 669-6242

ST. LOUIS COunseling Locations


Change, Inc. South Hampton & 44:

3460 Hampton Avenue, Suite 204

St. Louis, MO 63139 



Monday through Friday // 9a to 3p

Saturday // 12p to 3p

Contacts received before 3pm:

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Contacts received after 3pm or on the Sundays:

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314-669-6242 / 877-5-CHANGE (524-2643)




10am to 9pm