Therapy can be incredibly useful for helping you handle the mental and emotional challenges you come across in life. However, therapy is very much a case in which you get out what you put in. In order to ensure your therapy sessions are as effective and productive as possible, follow these tips.
1. Find a therapist who you get along with.
Before you decide on a therapist to work with, meet with a few for a preliminary session. You need to find a therapist whose personality jives with your own. Otherwise, you will not feel comfortable opening up to this person. If a certain therapist does not feel like the right fit for you, that does not mean they're a bad therapist—just that they're not the right choice for your personal needs.
2. Be honest.
In your everyday life, there may be people to whom you tell white lies in order to maintain relationships. For instance, you may not tell your mother that her overwhelming interest in collecting dolls bothers you because you know it will break her heart. In therapy, however, it's important to be completely open and honest. Your therapist will not judge you or be hurt by what you say—and they'll be better able to help you if they know the real truth.
3. Do your homework.
In most cases, your therapist will spend at least part of the session discussing strategies you can implement in your everyday life. Make sure you do your homework and implement these strategies as discussed. You'll see more continual progress if you keep working towards your goals both inside and outside of therapy sessions.
4. Be clear about your goals.
When you first meet with your therapist, be clear about your goals. Do you wish to make it through the day without anxiety or do you simply hope to be able to attend work meetings without anxious thoughts? If your therapist knows what you want to achieve, they'll be better able to better help you achieve it. Your therapist should revisit your goals and the progress you're making towards them during each session.
Be open and willing to change your goals as you progress in therapy. Your therapist may recommend an easier, short-term goal for you to meet first, or they may suggest you strive for something more challenging. Having goals to work towards will help keep your sessions focused. To learn more, contact local therapists such as Donald McEachran, PHD.
When I first started understanding my anxiety, I realized that I wasn't capable of taking care of the issue on my own. Instead of trying to quietly navigate my condition, I decided to start working towards understanding the counseling process. I focused on finding the right counselor, and then I worked hard in therapy day in and day out. This blog is all about understanding how counseling can help, because I know how much it helped me. You never know, by talking with the right person and tackling your issues head-on, you might be able to enjoy a more fulfilling life.