Want therapy to be more effective for you? Read on for ideas and insight.
1. Assess your Motivation.
The first step begins before you start attending therapy sessions. Therapy is a commitment, in terms of time, energy, and finances. Psychotherapy also works best with weekly attendance. Are you ready to devote your resources to exploring yourself, working towards your goals, and making changes in your life? If so, schedule therapy into your life as you would any other important commitment. Then, make it a consistent priority.
2. Arrive Early for Your Sessions.
Walk in and make yourself comfortable in the waiting area. Take a few minutes to check in with yourself so you have some awareness of what feelings, thoughts, experiences, and sensations you’ll want to bring into the session.
3. Work Hard.
Self-exploration can be uncomfortable. Strive to go beyond your comfort level in expressing your emotions and accessing your deeper experiences, as long as you feel safe in doing so. Continue working between sessions by reflecting on work done in therapy. And bring in new material as it comes up; this will keep the work useful and engaging.
4. Take Responsibility for Change.
Psychotherapy, at its best, is a collaborative process. A good therapist will not do therapy to you, they will engage in therapy with you. A therapist helps facilitate a safe environment for expressing your deepest fears, feelings, and concerns. They can help you see patterns and gain access to new emotions. Yet when it comes to making changes, ultimately you are the agent of change in your own life. You’re the expert on your life and are the best person to determine what changes to make and when.
5. Give Your Therapist Feedback.
Research shows that one of the most important factors in psychotherapy is the quality of the therapist-client relationship. One way you can help strengthen that relationship is by giving your therapist honest feedback about what is working and what isn’t. A good therapist will listen to, and integrate, what you say.
6. Know When to Say Goodbye, Even if Temporarily.
A goodbye is not to be confused with resistance when you feel discomfort, or a desire to escape because you’ve disagreed with your therapist. In fact the process of knowing when to end therapy should start at the beginning of therapy. How will you know when you’ve achieved your goals? Will you want to take a break from therapy? Or perhaps try a different approach, such as couples therapy or group therapy. Saying goodbye to your therapist is one of the most important aspects of psychotherapy; and a good therapist will both support you in your decision and help you to return in the future, should you want to.
Katrina Taylor, LMFT-Associate. 512-270-9002
Disclaimer: The content provided here is intended for informational purposes only. Reading articles and content on this website does not constitute a therapeutic relationship.