This September marks my sixth year in my Online Counselling practice [wondering where the time has gone]. It seemed like a good time to review the past six years and to give some thought to the cycles of client activity in my practice.
I will admit to being a number nerd. I started keeping track of the number of client sessions per month as I was curious to see if there was a regular pattern. Were some months consistently busier each year? And was it similar to my f2f counselling practice?
Definite patterns have emerged and there are some similarities to the rhythm of my f2f counselling practice. Some surprises too! All I have is speculations as to the whys and wherefores so if any of you have any data, thoughts, comments, or research on this topic please share. I am curious too as to whether you notice similar patterns for your practice.
January –Starts slow but then picks up. Is it new year’s resolutions kicking in? Or the holidays were worse than expected? Or the bills have piled up from the holiday season?
February – One third more client activity on average than January. It’s still winter? No long weekend in sight?
March – stays at the same level as February. Will winter never end?
April – A large dip in client numbers. Spring brings new hope?
May – Fewer than April. Nicer weather?
June – Fewer than May [sensing a downward slide?]. School is winding down and summer is winding up so client’s focus is elsewhere?
July and August – in my f2f practice these months are the slowest for me. Not so for my online counselling. July has become steadily busier over the years and August has consistently been one of my busiest months. This may be because other counsellors are on holidays or it could be that clients have time to do this type of counselling in the summer or…?
September – the start of a new school year always feels like the Real New Year to me. New resolutions, goals, hopes and dreams. Maybe it’s the same for clients too. Certainly the numbers of clients has increased each September for the past six years. My busiest month ever was a September. Yours too?
October – a little slower. Is it because the resolutions are wearing off or…?
November – busier again. Maybe because the days are shorter and the pressure of December holiday season is building.
December – busy, busy, busy (mostly stress management and family conflict resolution) – right up until mid-month and then it drops off until…the cycle starts all over again.
My busiest times of year are February, March, July, August, September and December.
What about you?
The opinions expressed in this blogpost are personal.
Dawn Schell, MA, CCC is an affiliate of Worldwide Therapy Online Inc.
*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA