Is monthly therapy worth doing?
January 25, 2017 3:00 PM   Subscribe

If you can only afford one therapy session a month, is it worth bothering? It seems too long in between sessions. Has anyone had success with a similar schedule?
posted by KateViolet to Health & Fitness (17 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Sure. A lot of it depends on what you are working on. Sometimes what works for people is having a few closer together at first to figure out what needs doing and working on and then more spaced out visits interspersed with "homework" or other projects in between. Also it's always worth looking for a therapist who has sliding scale. You might want to check this section of the ThereIsHelp page to see if anything might work.
posted by jessamyn at 3:04 PM on January 25, 2017 [7 favorites]


I can only afford half a dozen sessions a year or so and I think it really helps.
posted by Cosine at 3:16 PM on January 25, 2017


I generally think therapy at any interval of time is worth it. Go for it.

If there are support groups or group therapy available between visits, check those out too.
posted by delight at 3:24 PM on January 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Make sure you seek a therapist who is oriented to short-term, solution focused therapy so you can get mileage from each session. Many therapists will refuse to work with a client only once a month which is fine because those people have a style that is not a good match for your needs. If you can start out a every other week for the first few session to get some momentum going with therapist that could help a lot - it can take a few sessions to get to know each other.
posted by metahawk at 3:30 PM on January 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


It's all I've ever been able to afford, and I can unequivocally say that it's far better than nothing.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 3:41 PM on January 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Could you instead do biweekly but for a shorter period of time?
posted by radioamy at 3:45 PM on January 25, 2017


Once a year is worth it. Hell, once ever is better than none. Yes. Go.

You could do a cheaper online service in between if you need to. (I've one once a month, I've done every two weeks, and every week. It's been at least 6 months since my last one and I'm sure the next one would be just as worthwhile with the gap.)
posted by Crystalinne at 3:47 PM on January 25, 2017


If this therapy is very expensive, could you try a clinic with lower fees so you could go more frequently? Or is it that you can only afford even the cheapest therapy once a month? Do you have health insurance you could use in any way?

Just some things to consider.
posted by DMelanogaster at 4:33 PM on January 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


It depends, but yes. When I've been working with a CBT therapist, the skills I learn, I can apply between visits, and I have very clear ideas before my next session as to what my priority is. But that said, I have spilled my guts for years and no longer really want to do that - i want to develop skills to help manage my moods & behaviour.
posted by b33j at 4:40 PM on January 25, 2017


It truly depends on what you're doing. If you're getting support for general life stress or figuring yourself out, yeah, do it on whatever schedule works. If you have a mental disorder like depression or an anxiety disorder, and you're getting gold-standard, manualized CBT treatment, it would be hard to find a therapist who is willing to treat you less frequently than every other week (at least at first). But the flip side is that therapy should only take 12-20 sessions, depending on your condition. Feel free to memail me if you want specifics or help with referrals.
posted by quiet coyote at 6:20 PM on January 25, 2017


Yes. You can also ask if the therapist can recommend a workbook (there are several VERY good ones if your issue is anxiety, and also good ones for other issues) or some reading or homework you can do between sessions. Libraries will often have these books, the therapist may be able to lend them to you, or print you exercises to do. This can be very beneficial. You can journal between sessions. Full entries aren't necessary if you're not into that, but you can jot down things that you want to bring up at your next session so you don't forget. This is doable! Good luck!
posted by Aquifer at 7:40 PM on January 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Ten months of once a month therapy turned my life around from heading in a not so good direction. We had the clear goals, and I had homework between each session. I also lightly journaled in between to highlight realisations, challenges or questions I wanted to share.

It has made such a difference to my life, possibly more than any other thing. When I committed to working on myself , once a month was fine.
posted by smoke at 8:08 PM on January 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


i heard an ad for (i think) Talkspace therapy, which is online therapy. It's less pricey, so might be an option for you if that's the reason why you would only do 1x month. Here's some info.
posted by andreapandrea at 9:50 PM on January 25, 2017


If you can only manage once a month then you just need to find a therapist who will work with you, or perhaps be open to calls in the meantime, etc. As others have said, a good way to do this is to have "homework" in between and to do some journaling so that when you do have an in-person session, you have something to work from. It helps to be goal oriented even if that's just "I want to have fewer intrusive thoughts" or whatever. It doesn't have to be more than that.

Good luck. It's worth it.
posted by Medieval Maven at 7:57 AM on January 26, 2017


Oh yes! My counselors have always been on call — ranging from once a week to every three months. That was by choice, not necessity. In fact I found the extra time between sessions gave me a chance to more thoroughly process the lessons we worked on. I only "called" when I was ready for an infusion. If you are committed to change, you will know when it's time to go back.
posted by fritillary at 8:38 AM on January 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


I only go once a month--mostly it's because it's what I can afford--and it is worth it. I suffer from anxiety and depression, but nothing much happens in my life where it would be imperative that I see my therapist weekly or bi-weekly. This is adjusted accordingly if a particular bad cycle is occurring though.

TBH, even seeing a therapist once a week is much much better than not going at all.
posted by Kitteh at 10:21 AM on January 26, 2017


7 Cups has online therapists - actual, factual therapists, in addition to the hundreds of peer supporters - available to talk online. That might be a less expensive solution for you. You get a free trial, then it's $150/month for unlimited messaging with your therapist.

But if that's also too expensive for you, as it would be for me, I'll nth everybody above who says that even seeing a therapist once ever is better than not. I currently see mine every 3-4 months, partly because her schedule is insanely over-booked, and partly because I have "projects" to work on in between times. It works for me.

Best of luck to you.
posted by The Almighty Mommy Goddess at 4:48 PM on January 27, 2017


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