Most people, when they seek therapy, have in mind a weekly visit to a therapist who will, they hope, help them work their way through one or more thorny problems that have proven resistant to solution. This may be anxiety, or depression, or relationship or career problems, or compulsive behavior, or addiction, or one or more of any number of other challenges.
I work with some people in this way, meeting once a week, discussing both the events of the week and the specific problem(s) that brought them to me.
My preference though – and I’ll tell you this when we first meet – is to meet more frequently than once a week, and this is how I work with most of my patients.
It’s true that more frequent meetings are more expensive for you, and represent a greater commitment not just of money, but of time, to the process of therapy. For many of us, it feels natural to spend lots of time and money at the gym, caring for our bodies, but the idea of spending even a fraction of that time attending to our minds and hearts feels somehow foreign. It’s also true that more frequent meetings represent more income for me. These facts can and often do stand in the way of patients’ accepting my recommendation of more frequent treatment.
This is a shame.
The success of the psychotherapy I practice depends on at least two vital factors: first, you and I must form a relationship. You must develop feelings about me, and about our work together. The reason for this is that those very feelings are absolutely essential material for us as we work toward understanding your situation. And second, we need to dig beneath the events of your week, to get to how you experience, relate to, shape, and give meaning to those events.
In my experience, while meeting once a week can very well prove useful to patients, meeting twice (or even more times) a week provides a much quicker, more intense, and ultimately more useful experience. The relationship you can form with me takes root more quickly, and provides more material. And we spend far less time “clearing the underbrush” of the events of your week, and far more time meaningfully engaged with the questions that brought you into therapy in the first place.
I believe in frequency of treatment so much that I will work hard with you to reach a fee that will enable you to see me more frequently, and will set your fee based on a sliding scale that is informed both by your financial situation and your commitment to treatment.