How Many Sessions and When?

Thursday, January 5 2023

Psychotherapists can often feel overwhelmed by the myriad of factors that promote the achievement of positive psychotherapy outcomes. Luckily, some of these factors are often within the control of therapists. For instance, the frequency of sessions has been found to have a significant impact on treatment success. The ideal frequency of treatment can vary based on a number of factors, such as client severity and treatment approach. Yet, the data-driven approach promoted by SonderMind can provide therapists with useful guidelines. Previous research conducted at a college counseling center found that weekly and biweekly sessions supported the achievement of better treatment outcomes than less frequent sessions (i.e., every 3 or 4 weeks; Erekson et al., 2015). Likewise, a recent analysis of data from sessions conducted within SonderMind found that weekly sessions (approximately every 7 days, give or take a day or two) for, at least, the first 4-6 weeks were the optimal frequency for achieving improvements in depressive symptoms, when compared to less frequent treatment. Here are some additional tips based on this research:

  • Schedule weekly sessions with new clients for the first 4 to 6 weeks of treatment and then reassess. It is important to set expectations about the frequency of sessions during the intake visit. Remember, setting clear expectations about the potential duration of treatment is key to avoiding dropouts (
  • Check your availability to ensure that weekly sessions will be possible for new clients prior to initiating treatment.
  • Although each client is unique, relying on data to inform your practice will lead to more successful treatment.

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