Let’s face it, therapy can be time-consuming, emotionally draining, and not to mention expensive. Most people do not enter therapy wanting to attend weekly sessions for the rest of their lives. Oftentimes, you go to counseling in order to alleviate some kind of pain you are experiencing. You want that pain gone as quickly as possible, and then you want to end therapy and move on with your life. Here are some therapy tips to help you achieve your goals as quickly as possible by learning how to get the most out of therapy.
How To Get the Most Out of Therapy: Be Honest
We are not mind-readers. Your therapist cannot truly help you if you are not being honest and sharing openly with them. We recognize that it can take a little time to feel comfortable with your therapist and to start opening up, that is very normal. It can also take some time to share your whole story with your therapist. As you share your story, keep in mind that you are making the most of therapy if you share all parts of the story, not just the bright and cheery pieces, but the dark and scary ones too. As therapists, we have heard so many different stories, all of which are unique, however, not a lot surprises us. You may be surprised to know that others have likely shared very difficult things similar to what you may be facing.
Get The Most Out of Therapy by Doing the Work!
If your therapist is giving you homework or practice assignments be sure to make the time to actually do them. It’s hard to make and sustain progress if you’re not doing the work outside of sessions. This holds true with most things in life. If you want to get in shape, one visit per week to the gym isn’t going to cut it. It takes commitment, dedication, and hard work. If therapy is not something you find very enjoyable (as most don’t), then do yourself a favor and commit whole-heartedly to the process. This will take a lot of work, but it will get you results more quickly if you learn how to get the most out of therapy so that you can end therapy sooner.
Prepare Topics to Discuss With Your Therapist
If there are certain topics to discuss with your therapist, write them down and bring that list to session with you. This will help prevent forgetting important things that you want to discuss. You may be going about your week and have an argument with your spouse, a disagreement with a friend, or an altercation with a family member. Write down what happened and how you felt in the situation. Bring that to session so that you can talk with your therapist about what happened and how you handled it. This gives your therapist better insight into your daily interactions in order to see common missteps and any barriers that may be presenting themselves.
Keep an Open-Mind
Coming to therapy open-minded is so important if you want to grow, learn and evolve as a person. Trying new things that your therapist suggests is another part of being open-minded, and is a huge part of making the most of therapy. You are taking the time and money to invest in changing yourself; if you want to get the most out of the process, leave your expectations at the door and open your mind in session. Allow yourself to see things from another perspective and to really let things sink in. If you come in with a ‘know it all’ attitude you are doing yourself a disservice. If you’re committed to making the most of therapy, check your ego at the door.
How to Get the Most Out of Therapy: Give Feedback
If there is something your therapist is doing that you really like or that you really dislike, let them know! This will help your therapist to understand what works for you so that they can further support your goals. Feedback is such an important process of growing and it really is a gift. Your therapist wants your feedback to help them steer the ship towards helping you. Give them an opportunity to correct course as needed by verbalizing what you need from them.
By learning how to get the most out of therapy, you will get the results you want more quickly and get back to living the life you want to live. Some of these things can be new, scary, difficult or exhausting, but think of it as a huge investment in your future. The more of these therapy tips you use, the quicker you will experience relief from your pain. Contact us and let us know if you have other suggestions for how to get the most out of therapy, or how we can further support your therapy journey!