Deciding to start therapy can be a step into the unknown. Here are some tips to make the most of your time (and money!) in therapy.
While in session, you may notice your therapist taking notes. I take notes in session to make sure I don’t forget anything important and to plan ahead for future sessions. For similar reasons, you should also take notes! Jotting down key points your therapist brings up, what you learn about yourself, or points you’d like to bring up later will help jog your memory and stay focused in session.
Your therapist most likely comes to session with a rough plan, but we’re always happy when clients know what they want! Ask yourself what is going well? What isn’t going well? What happened this week that you’d like to talk about? What is the most important thing to talk about today? Coming prepared will ensure that you’re getting what you want and need out of therapy sessions.
Even though your therapist is well qualified, you are the expert on your experience. You can always ask why your therapist recommends something or how they think it may help. There may be times when you feel like what your therapist is suggesting might not be right to you. When this happens, speak up! We’re always happy to explain our why or even re-evaulate if you think it’s not a good fit.
We’re all busy, especially these days. However, it is very important to prioritize your time in therapy. Schedule your appointments at a time that you’re able to focus and don’t have to rush. Communicate with your therapist as things come up that may distract you during a session or cause you to reschedule. Remember that this is your time, and you’re worth taking it.
Disclosing sensitive information can be uncomfortable and down-right scary. While it’s understandable to feel this way, it is very important that you are truthful with your therapist. Your therapist isn’t there to shame, judge, or punish. Progress often requires vulnerability and trust. If you have specific questions about legal ramifications or confindentiality, ask your therapist about those boundaries before you disclose.
Practice brings progress
A good therapist doesn’t want you to feel better only during sessions. We want our clients to be happy and healthy in all kinds of different situations! Your therapist may ask you to practice skills or write things down while you’re waiting for your next session. Practicing coping skills and working on goals outside of sessions is necessary to ensure continued success once therapy ends.
Find other support
As a therapist, I know I can’t always be there for my clients. Because that’s the case, I encourage clients to engage their support system in their therapy process whenever they can. It is up to you to judge who you will tell about your therapy. Ask yourself, who will you talk to about your goals? Who can help hold you accountable? This support system can be as large or smal as you’d like, but make sure to choose them carefully and set clear boundaries.
Ready to Start?
It’s time to take these tips and start your therapy journey. Eunoia Mental Health offers affordable, flexible therapy in Michigan. To learn more or schedule a free phone consultation, click here.