If you’ve decided to seek therapy, then it’s a significant step to overcoming issues like depression or anxiety. Therapy also helps you to become more confident, healing old wounds, or moving on with your life in a healthier way. Sometimes, it’s normal to feel a little anxious when you’re starting therapy or counseling. When initiating therapy, many people are curious about what they need to do to make therapy work. Many people know that they will have to work in therapy to make it useful, but they’re unfamiliar with what it entails. Sometimes, the unknowns of therapy cause some people to feel like they’re just wondering and not making progress. In other cases, other people leave treatment before they get to experience all the benefits therapy has to offer. Here are a few tips to feel focused and centered so that you can make the most of your treatment.
As much as you’re in a hurry to find answers to your problems, it’s always a good idea to take the time to choose your therapist carefully. When starting therapy sessions, it’s always advisable to understand transference
, as the relationship with your therapist will be of utmost importance for your improvement. Some of the best tips include researching different types of therapists and approaches. Additionally, select several clinicians who seem to offer what you seek. You can talk over the phone with each therapist or try out single sessions. Evaluate each therapist based on how you feel comfortable talking with each of them rather than just focusing on their credentials. After you’re sure you have the preferred candidate, then it’s time to dive in. If you’re unsure about your new therapist or the whole process overall, then give yourself three sessions before you can fully decide on your next direction.
Many people censor themselves in therapy for fear of appearing impolite or judgment. It would help if you said anything you want since it plays a massive role in your progress. By letting your heart out, a therapist will make adjustments to support or clarify what is troubling you. Additionally, mentioning unrelated points can also be helpful. For example, if you’re having trouble at work, discussing your childhood memories might help establish a connection. It doesn’t matter whether you’re on your best behavior; what matters is being the most unfiltered and authentic version of yourself.
Research suggests that the connection between a therapist and a person in therapy is crucial if a positive change should happen. But, as with all relationships, a therapeutic relationship
is made rather than found. For you to accomplish this, be open and direct with your therapist. Remember, no therapist is perfect. You also need to ask yourself some questions; what is your therapist doing that doesn’t work for you? Is your therapist leaving out some of the most vital details that you need to work on? Is he or she challenging enough? Too challenging, maybe? Then it would help if you said so. Establishing direct communication with your therapist enables you to get comfortable with the parts of yourself that you usually keep in secret. In therapy, the core principle is that it’s the relationship that heals.
Opening up to your therapist can be challenging at first, but you need to make a point of putting it all out. Talk about embarrassing things, dark things, scary things, and anything that happens to be on your mind. During your therapy sessions, resist any urge to say you’re OK and focus on being honest. If you present yourself by saying everything is OK, you’re not going to get the best treatment. Psychology experts say that once you feel comfortable with your therapist, then know that you have a haven to be you. In many cases, this connection will help you feel like you and not fake it for anything.
We all have many different parts of our personalities. There may be a director who wants to tell the therapist what to do, a vulnerable, frightened child who needs to cry, an angel too sensitive for the real world, a demon-filled with hate, etc. Ideally, there are parts that you’d want to hide and others that you would prefer showing. Please take note of what you’d avoid telling your therapist and instead tell your therapist about it. Additionally, reflect on why you feel the need to deny a specific part of you. This will help you decide what the left-out part will offer you if it’s included mindfully in your sessions.
Don’t shy away from asking your therapist questions before your first session. Doing this helps you to lessen your nerves and fully prepares you for what’s to come. It’s highly encouraged that you ask critical questions
regarding your first session when arranging your counseling session. Some of the vital questions include asking what you can expect during your first session. Additionally, you can also ask about your therapist’s counseling style and whether you will address your issues in the early sessions. When it comes to therapy, communication is the foundation of your treatment. If your therapist is talking about something hard to understand, then speak up and ask the essential questions. If you’re unsure about a particular suggestion or feel frustrated, let your therapist know.
It’s highly encouraged to consider writing down your thoughts during the week and bringing them to your therapy sessions. Additionally, it’s vital to take notes during the session, especially if you feel something resonates with your current situation. Taking time to jot down notes means you can also use these points in your daily life outside your therapist’s office. After every session, sit down and review the things you talked about. In the long haul, this will help you to sink things in for better understanding.
The takeaway is that therapy is like taking a course where you are the topic. Treatment can be a transformative and memorable process of living a conscious life. During treatment, some sessions will become very challenging, and breakthroughs will seem unachievable. Whatever the case is, stay positive and continue your sessions with a motivating drive.