How To Get The Most Out Of Your Therapy.

When I was first asked to write about how to get the most out of therapy, I thought that this was way out of my league. Yes, I have been in therapy and I knew what worked for me, but to tell other people what worked, that was another thing. Then I sat back and I thought about it. What if what I thought just made sense, opened someone else’s eyes and helped them during their sessions? So I decided to give it a go.

The first way to get the most out of therapy is to SHOW UP! Yes, we all have days where we don’t want to go. We don’t want to face our issues, our fears, our failures, or ourselves, but that’s what therapy is all about. Therapy will not work if you don’t show up. I have found that the days that I don’t want to go are often a break through day. These are the days that my emotions are running high and I need the outlet. I may not want to talk, but I NEED to talk.

The second way to get the most out of therapy is to communicate with your therapist. Be open. Be honest. They can’t help you if you hold anything back from them. Say whatever you feel. Don’t censor yourself due to fear of being judged. Don’t hold back emotions. Be willing and able to show your emotions. If you feel like you need to cry, cry. It’s ok. If you’re mad, then be mad. The goal is to work through whatever is causing the emotion. Let your therapist know what you need or why you are there. Let them know what you want to talk about. Let them know what’s on your mind. I know this is hard, I’ve been there. I’ve held back and not been open and I only cheated myself. When I open up I get so much out of the session.

The third way to get the most out of therapy is to do the work outside of our sessions. Make a conscious effort to practice what you learned in your session when you are not in a session. If you learned how to change your thinking from negative self talk to positive self talk during your session, then pay attention when you fall back into negative self talk. Think about what you learned and apply it. If your therapist gives you homework, do the homework. It may seem silly, but it is to help you and reinforce what you talked about during your session.

Another thing that is helpful to get the most out of therapy is keeping a journal. Write about how you feel, what you’re doing, what changes you have made, and the progress that you have made. This is a great tool for when you are having a bad day, you can look back and see how far you have already come.

I also recommend setting goals with your therapist. Set small goals, this way you can achieve them in a shorter time. Set long term goals so you have something to focus on. These goals can be something like planning an outing with a friend, having less negative self talk, or whatever you want them to be.

Remember when you are in a therapy session it is your time. It’s all about you for that session. You can make the most of it. You can open up. You can face those demons and fears. This is your time! Embrace it!