skip to Main Content
Therapy Twice A Week

Therapy Twice a Week: Why You Should Try It!

At first glance, therapy twice a week may seem excessive, but this is far from the truth. Going to therapy twice a week is a powerful way for high functioning individuals to make significant and lasting change in the way they relate to themselves and navigate their world.

Going to Therapy Twice a Week Changes the Dynamic:

I like it when clients come more than once a week.

I like it even more when they come two days in a row.

Here’s why:

When clients come to therapy twice a week or more, it changes the nature of the conversation. The therapy process goes differently.

Coming to therapy twice a week is not an actual rule, or something I require. Of course, therapy is not about what I like, it’s about what a client wants and needs. As a professional, however, I prefer operating under conditions that allow me to do my best work.

Many of my clients come to therapy once a week, and I help them with everything from understanding their relationships to making decisions, noticing when they’re overthinking, coping with depression, and moving past trauma. This is very rewarding work and something I feel privileged to be able to do on a daily basis.

How going for therapy twice a week allows you to go deeper:

Being able to spend more time with a client can truly change the dialogue. There’s something special about a session that is more analytic, primary process oriented, and which focuses on exploring the unconscious in a low pressure environment. It allows the client and therapist to engage in a process that feels more like an art than a science. This is not the kind of thing you can follow a script for, and it’s not something you learn in school.

What I’m referring to is a way of listening to clients that was cultivated through years of experience, supervision, training, mentorship, and personal psychotherapy. It’s a way of listening intuitively, picking up on nuances, hearing what is being said as much as what is left unsaid, and playing with specific ideas that represent a larger metaphor in the client’s life. In this process, literal interpretations are suspended, despite the seductive desire to take things at face value.

Frequent sessions allow us to address underlying questions:

Listening in this way raises questions that are sometimes painful to ask, but are ultimately rewarding to confront.

Are those we see as victims really victims? And are the people we see as villains also very much human underneath?

Are the symptoms we say we want to get rid of so badly actually protecting us from something worse?

Is there pleasure in our pain?

Are the things we say we wish for actually things we fear? And, are the things we say we’re scared of, actually the very things we want?

In which ways do we create our own misery? And in what way do we give our power away to others?

Is what we say we desire really our own? Or is it something our mother, father, or culture told us to want?

And, do we say things we ‘don’t mean to say’ because of some truth trying to speak its way out?

This method of being with my clients is facilitated by a client’s commitment to attend therapy more than once a week. I have a passion for offering my clients this experience because of how alive, creative, and dynamic it can feel to have a place where one’s inner world can be animated, accessed, and elaborated in ways that are truly transformative.

How weekly sessions can (sometimes) miss the larger issues:

When clients only come in once a week (or even less often in some cases), it can sometimes feel more like a consultation rather than a creative relational process. Obviously this isn’t always the case, as there are exceptions to every rule, but it’s a trend that research and personal experience have taught me.

Weekly clients often come in with a problem that needs solving, or in need of support for a crisis. Much of the session can become focused on either talking about the client’s feelings over the past week or about practical issues in the external reality. These practical issues are the things happening outside the therapy room in the client’s everyday life. These matters are typically more problem/solution oriented, and addressing them on a constant basis allows little or no time left to explore deeper emerging themes that are alive in the client’s unconscious mind.

Now, in no way do I mean to diminish the importance of helping people find solutions to everyday problems. Managing relationship issues, setting boundaries, coping with feelings of anxiety, and changing habits are all very important and their significance should not be underestimated.

At the same time, the real forces driving what we’re doing are often hidden under layers of defense and code, and can be best deciphered when we create a space to explore the unconscious. To learn more about how our unconscious communicates with us, watch this video or check out this blog post.

Reverie: the key to a deeper understanding

Coming to therapy twice a week, and even two days in a row, gives the client and therapist an opportunity to move away from problem-solving and venting and instead engage in an inward focus. It allows for reverie.

To understand the concept of reverie, I like to refer to psychoanalyst Wilfred Bion’s explanation. It’s a concept of playing along with the client’s images, a type of maternal attunement, an intuitive mode of listening that allows the client’s unconscious to resonate with the unconscious of the therapist. It’s a process that allows for a client to slowly start putting form around their experience. It can be such a special experience that even when these efforts aren’t successful, just making the attempt holds a magic power of its own.

For me, reverie is the best part of therapy. It’s the deepest way of connecting with a client. It’s creative and poetic. It allows me to say things to clients that reach them in places they haven’t been reached before. For the client, it’s deeply transformative.

Reverie requires a special client – therapist connection:

Reverie can only happen when conditions are right for it. It has to be nurtured, and it requires an evenly suspended attention on the therapist’s part. This type of orientation to the client is something I work very hard to maintain. It requires a lot of mental and emotional work on behalf of my clients in between sessions. Additionally, it can only happen when a client comes in frequently enough for us to go inwards together, thus providing material to work with.

For reverie to happen, both therapist and client need a space that is free of performance pressure. A place where neither one of us has to know, plan, or control what we’re going to speak about together because we both know we can simply trust the process.

The look & feel of reverie:

When conditions are right for reverie, a space is created in which I have a sense of being alive to the client’s inner world. In this space I can be highly responsive to what a client brings in. I can let their words wash over me like poetry, yet still maintain my ability to think and speak. Together we can hold, process, and discuss experiences that we haven’t before. We can make something new of old experiences and come together in joint creativity. We can experience the pleasure of relationship, symbolization, and making meaning out of pain.

What I describe here is an experience you might recognize if you’ve tasted it. Sometimes it takes time to set the stage to allow the action to happen. I ask my clients to have the patience to tolerate some awkward silences, as this creates space for us to do the work. I ask them to suspend the need for solutions, to refrain from asking the question “but what should I do about this?” for just a short while.

Therapy is a journey, not a destination. The journey may take time and effort to get off the ground, but each time it unfolds there’s something breathtaking about it.

For more on this topic:

Your First Therapy Session

What Your Therapist Wishes You Knew About Therapy

Therapy or Coaching: Which is Right for You?

Therapy

Profile Photo

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Wow, what an amazing and informative article! I especially like the concept of reverie. It really explains and illustrates how deep work can get done.

  2. I couldn’t agree more and love how the article delves into the great positive and beneficial aspects a good client/ therapy relationship can be .

  3. Amazing informative article. I am so happy I am starting therapy and going twice a week! Thanks!

  4. Yes, you point out some critical aspects of more frequent sessions. Unfortunately, this critical piece of providing treatment does not get enough attention outside of the psychoanalytic world. I like to refer to 1x week psychotherapy as being like “reading the headlines” whereas 2x-3x a week as being able to “reading the small print.” Thank you for the “small print.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back To Top