How Do I Find A Therapist That Fits My Schedule? Three Options To Consider

Medically reviewed by Melissa Guarnaccia, LCSW
Updated April 26, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

If you’re interested in seeking professional support for your mental health, you may be wondering, “How do I find a therapist that fits my schedule?” Especially for people who work full-time and have other obligations, finding the time for regular therapy sessions can be difficult. Often, part of effective therapy is finding the therapist and therapy modality that suit your needs, budget, and schedule. Three common options can include one-on-one in-office therapy, online therapy, and group therapy, with common modalities including cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and couples therapy.

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Finding therapy that fits your schedule

Research shows that scheduling is usually one of the most important factors people consider when choosing a therapist. Having a therapist who can work with your schedule generally enables you to commit to the therapeutic process without sacrificing other parts of your life. 

Group therapy may have a more rigid schedule than in-office, one-on-one therapy, while online therapy may have more flexible scheduling options than in-office therapy. Additionally, therapists with individual practices may have more flexible scheduling options.

Three types of therapy options include the following:

  1. In-person, one-on-one therapy: With traditional, in-office therapy, you typically meet one-on-one with your therapist anywhere from one to four times a month. Most people beginning therapy start with weekly sessions and work with their therapist to determine a meeting schedule and frequency that works best for them. Some may need multiple sessions each week, while others may only need monthly sessions. 

In-person, one-on-one sessions generally offer some flexibility in scheduling, but many therapists and clients find it beneficial to stick to a regular meeting schedule. Additionally, depending on the therapist’s availability, consistent scheduling may be a requirement. However, many therapists are willing to work with your schedule. Some offer evening and weekend hours, for example.

  1. Group therapy: Group therapy may be the least flexible type of therapy. This is because a consistent meeting time is usually essential for all of the group therapy members to be able to know when the meeting is and congregate at the same time. Many people appreciate the social support offered by group therapy, and it can also be a cost-effective option. Some research even suggests that it can be as effective as one-on-one therapy. However, since you’re working with several peoples’ schedules, it may be difficult to coordinate sessions with your own schedule

  1. Online therapy: Online therapy typically offers very flexible scheduling. Because online therapy can be completed from the comfort of your home or anywhere with an internet connection, it can be done on lunch breaks or at other times that are convenient for you. People who choose online therapy can also avoid waiting room times and long commutes to a therapist’s office, which can be beneficial for those with busy schedules. Additionally, many online therapists offer evening hours for clients who may be unavailable during traditional business hours.

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Finding a therapy modality that fits your schedule

It can be important to consider which type of therapy fits best with your schedule. Certain therapy modalities may take longer than others. For example, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a highly structured type of therapy that can take up to a year to complete. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), on the other hand, may be done in any time frame, making it a more flexible option. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) 

CBT is a common type of talk therapy offered by many therapists. It may take 10 to 20 sessions to see an improvement in mental health concerns like anxiety or depression. However, some people see improvements in their symptoms in as little as four to six sessions. More complex issues may require more sessions to see improvement. Whatever your mental health concern may be, you can work with your therapist to create a timeline that fits into your schedule.

Dialectical behavior therapy

DBT is another common type of therapy. It was originally created to treat borderline personality disorder and is often beneficial for people who struggle with self-harm and those who experience emotions very intensely. DBT can be a longer-term therapy, however, and can take a year or longer to complete.

Couples therapy or family therapy

Many people see marriage and family therapists for couples therapy and family counseling. This type of therapy can be flexible. Some people attend on an as-needed basis, while others may follow a structured weekly schedule.

Trauma therapy

Trauma therapies, such as prolonged exposure (PE) therapy and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), may take a bit longer than other types of therapy. They may also require you to stick to a routine schedule in order to be effective. However, everyone responds differently to treatment, so it’s worth asking your therapist, counselor, or licensed clinical social worker about timelines to fit your schedule.

Adding convenience to any therapy modality

If you’re interested in a convenient therapy option that fits your schedule, you may wish to consider online therapy. Any type of therapy can be a useful tool for people seeking mental health support or those who wish to improve some aspect of their life, such as their stress management or work performance. However, online therapy specifically can provide several additional benefits, including the following:


People who have disabilities or restrictions that prevent them from moving around easily can be supported by online therapy, which generally allows them to connect with a mental health professional from their home or another comfortable environment. Additionally, online therapy can be a good option for people who live in remote areas who may struggle to find local mental health support, as well as for those who don’t have reliable transportation options available.

Adding to online therapy’s accessibility is that this type of platform often makes it easier to connect with therapists specializing in various modalities. For example, it may be challenging to find an art therapist locally, but an online platform can make it simple to work with one, even if they live in another state. 


A core benefit of online therapy is that it can be a convenient option for people who have busy schedules. Those who work a demanding job, are in school, or have family responsibilities and other obligations may struggle to find time to work with a therapist. With flexible scheduling options, sometimes including weekends and evening hours, online therapy may allow you to invest in your mental health, no matter how busy you are. The option to speak with a mental health professional via video conference, phone call, or online chat, depending on your preference and comfort level, can provide additional convenience.


Online therapy can be a more affordable option compared to other types of therapy. Because online therapists typically have fewer overhead costs, such as office space rent, they may charge more affordable rates. Additionally, online therapy may be a good option for people without insurance coverage, as some online therapy services do not require insurance and sometimes offer financial aid or sliding-scale fees.


In general, online therapy provides people with the same mental health benefits as traditional in-office therapy. A 2022 meta-analysis comparing the effectiveness of online and in-person therapy reported that “No significant difference was found between teletherapy and in-person therapy in treatment outcomes at posttreatment,” and that “teletherapy produced a symptom reduction of a large magnitude.” 

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If you’re looking to find a new therapist who can work with your schedule, know that there are many mental health care options available, from group therapy to in-office therapy and online therapy. Certain therapy modalities may also fit into your schedule more conveniently than others. Many therapists can work with you to schedule appointments that fit into your schedule, and working with a therapist online may be one of the most effective ways to find convenient and accessible support.

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