Working with a therapist is a great way to have an unbiased person talk you through things going on in your life and be a sounding board for advice. Especially in these times of uncertainty, putting your mental health at the forefront and taking care of yourself is essential.
If you’re already working with a therapist or getting ready for your first appointment, there are a few things to know in order to make the most out of your therapy appointments. There are different styles of therapy and a technique that works well for one person may not be right for you.
Therapy is all about making yourself better so you can live a happier and healthier life. In order to make your therapy sessions productive and fruitful, we’ve put together a guide of tips and recommendations.
If you’re looking for ways on how to make the most out of your therapy appointments, read on for more information.
Evaluate What You Want to Achieve
If you’ve made the decision to seek therapy, you likely have some reasons behind it. You will need to consider what outcome it is you’re looking for from therapy. If you ever feel stuck in your sessions, ask yourself what it is that you want and how you currently are feeling. Taking those things into consideration will help you get back to your why.
Don’t worry about saying or asking something too personal. You’re there to make the most of your session and you shouldn’t worry about censoring yourself. Some sessions you may spend just running through the details of your daily life or not having anything to say. Think about why that is – is there something you’re avoiding talking about? Dig deeper when you can.
If you think of things you want to talk about with your therapist when you’re not in therapy, keep a list or journal to note things down in. Come to your next appointment prepared with items to discuss. Even if they’re not as important to you at that appointment as they were when you wrote it down, still talk it over.
Choose a Therapist That Works for You
Finding a therapist that you feel comfortable and safe with is a big part of the process. Many therapist groups not only offer individual therapy, but family, child, and couples counseling as well. No matter what your need is, there is someone out there that can help you.
Ask friends for recommendations for therapists. Look around at what therapists are in your area and research them online. Virtual therapy is something that has grown in popularity over the past year, so explore online therapy options. Many of the programs available have texting and video chat options quick access to your therapist.
Once you have found the perfect therapist, professionals recommend staying with them instead of switching therapists. There are of course circumstances where a therapist doesn’t work out for you, but it is good to build up a consistent relationship in order to see your progress and build trust.
If you feel like things aren’t working out with your current therapist, there is nothing wrong with parting ways. Ultimately it’s about what you need, but be sure to end the relationship in a professional way. After your therapy sessions, you should feel as if some of your burden has been lifted.
You might feel a bit upset after a therapy session that probed into some serious issues. If you’re feeling distressed after nearly every single one of your appointments, it’s time to evaluate if your therapist is right for you.
Be Open and Honest
Sometimes you may feel embarrassed about some of the topics your therapist brings up or even items you want to discuss. Be completely open and honest with not only our therapist but with yourself. Your therapist isn’t there to judge you – their job is to help you. Have compassion with yourself as you go on this journey.
Not holding back on what you say or feel will help you get the most out of your therapy sessions. If there’s something you’re avoiding talking about, bring those into the conversation.
Your therapist might want to try different exercises or techniques that you may feel uncomfortable with, but trust them and their process. Talk through it with them if you’re feeling uncomfortable. Discuss what about it causes you discomfort. You may find out different things during that process.
Continue Therapy Outside of Your Sessions
Your therapist might give you homework and you shouldn’t ignore that. Think about it as if you were in school. Would you want to get an F on your therapy homework if it was graded? Homework exercises for therapy range from journaling, breathing exercises or sketching things out.
Don’t skip your therapy homework assignments. While they may seem silly or inconsequential to the entire process, taking the small baby steps your therapist outlines for you can help you grow. Doing the tasks they assign will help you gauge your progress.
If going outside and walking around for 10 minutes seems like a huge task at the beginning of therapy, look at how you feel after doing it for a month. It will give you a sense of pride to look at how you progress with the things they assign for you to do. It gives you more control in your journey through therapy.
Forge a Relationship With Your Therapist
Working with a therapist, whether you’re new to the experience or have been doing it for years, can be extremely beneficial to you and those around you. Finding a trustworthy therapist can be difficult, but we’re here to help.
Willow Oak Therapy Center a psychotherapy center in Rockville, MD. Our mission is to provide affordable and accessible therapy services that are tailored to your individual needs.
We can provide assistance to children, teens, and adults. Willow Oak accepts most major insurance plans, as well as Maryland Medicaid and Medicare, and offer sliding scale fees. Contact us today to get started.