If you’re spending the time and money to visit a therapist, you definitely want to make the most out of it.
Therapy is a time where everything can be about you. You step away from your family and work and are able to focus on how you’re feeling.
This article will teach you how to get the most out of therapy so you can truly enjoy your time on the couch.
1. Don’t Be Late
When it comes to your therapy session, think of it as making an appointment with your own brain.
You don’t want to be late.
Be sure to not schedule any commitments within one hour of your therapy appointment. This will ensure you’re able to arrive on time, relax and get ready for your session.
You won’t be able to get the most out of therapy if you’re always frantic from running in 10 to 15 minutes late.
2. Know Your Reasons For Going
Having a focused list of reasons you want to go to therapy will help keep your sessions productive.
Before you even start going, try to identify sources for your emotional pain.
Have a list of things you want to cover with your therapist before every session. That way you won’t get into your session and freeze up.
Therapy sessions are often only one hour so you want to make them as productive as possible.
3. Keep A Journal
A lot of things can happen to you during the weeks between therapy sessions.
When you start keeping a journal, you’ll have something concrete to refer back to. Your journal can act as an emotion calendar, reminding you how you felt on certain days.
You can bring your journal to therapy sessions with you and refer to it when you run out of things to talk about.
4. Be Choosey
Not all therapists are going to be the right fit for you.
The relationship between you and your therapist is very different from the one between you and your primary care doctor.
Your doctor is dealing with your body, while your therapist is dealing with your brain.
You should feel a connection to the therapist you choose. You should feel totally comfortable opening up to them. You should be able to trust them.
As you start looking for a therapist, don’t settle for the first one you try. Shop around a bit and learn that every therapist has a different style.
Once you find one you like, however, it’s a good idea to stick with them so you can start seeing progress.
5. Don’t Filter Yourself
All day long we walk around with a filter. We hardly ever truly say how we feel about something. We do this to maintain the social order and not offend anyone.
When you’re in therapy, take the filter out.
For the hour you’re in therapy you know longer have to worry about saying the right thing or being polite. You’re paying someone to listen to you for an hour.
Don’t be afraid to say what you need to say, even if it feels uncomfortable at first.
Eventually, you’ll find it cathartic to get those feelings off your chest. You’ll start to look forward to therapy for the release it gives you.
6. Set Goals
Remember that you are in therapy for a reason, to improve your life in some way.
Keep that in mind and remember to set goals with your therapist. These goals should center around what changes you want to make.
Maybe you want to feel more comfortable talking to the opposite sex. In this case, your goal could be going on one date this month.
Maybe you want to feel happier and more energetic, in this case, your goal could be adding in thirty minutes of exercise each day.
Your therapist will help you choose the goals that are appropriate for you. Having a therapist will help you stick to your goals because you’ll have someone you’re accountable to. You’ll want to be able to come in for your next session with good news.
7. Always Pay Before Your Session
Another reason it’s a good idea to arrive early is so you can pay your therapist before the session.
Once the payment part is over, you’ll be able to relax and focus on enjoying your session. You don’t want to wait until the session is over and have to rush through payment and scheduling for your next meeting.
8. Keep Your Therapy Sessions Private
Once you start telling people about your therapy sessions, they’re doing to want to weigh in.
They’re going to be curious about what you talk about and what you feel is “wrong’ in your life.
Remember you don’t have to share that you’re in therapy with anyone. You can keep that information to yourself to avoid having to fend off over-curious friends and family. Therapy is your time, not theirs.
Now You Know How To Get The Most Out Of Therapy Sessions
With this list, you’ll be more than ready to tackle your next therapy session.
Remember that therapy is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Mental health is every bit as important as physical health.
Your therapist can become one of the most important people in your life, so be sure to choose one carefully. When it comes to how to get the most out of therapy, it all comes down to how much you’re willing to put into it.
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Sam Nabil was featured in many prestigious publications. Check out his interview with Aljazeera English, The Washington post, The Boston Globe, Fatherly magazine, Women's health magazine, Cornell university , Yahoo News, USA Today, Marriage.com