Do I Really Need Counselling Every Week?

list of brighton counsellorsI am sometimes asked by potential new clients if I am prepared to see them fortnightly rather than on my usual weekly basis. I understand that counselling or psychotherapy is a major commitment both in terms of time and cost and that on the face of it meeting less frequently might seem like a good idea. But, is it really?
I work in a relational way; I am interested in how you and I interact with each other. In my experience, exploring what it feels like to be together in a therapeutic relationship often offers great insight into difficulties relating to others and can be the key to discovering the unconscious assumptions we all make about functioning in the world.
In order to build up a strong therapeutic relationship I have found it essential to meet on a weekly basis. Without regular, consistent time together it is more difficult to arrive at a place of trust and emotional safety. In my mind, once this ‘secure base’ has been established, therapy can start to take effect.
Meeting less regularly than once a week slows down the process of building a solid relationship, sometimes to the point that it never actually happens. There might still be some benefits, perhaps an experience of feeling understood by another or a chance to let off steam in a contained atmosphere, but other changes such as increased self-awareness are more difficult to achieve. I believe that it is only with insight into how we relate to ourselves and to other people that personal growth and change can occur.
Sometimes, towards the end of long-term therapy when a professional relationship has already been established, I might suggest meeting less regularly. For example, some people will benefit from more time to reflect between sessions after working with me for, say, 12 months.
In my experience, for those people seeking to make real and long-lasting changes to their lives, weekly sessions with a committed therapist offers the most likely environment for this to happen.
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