Recognising your issues and asking for help is not easy, let alone embracing the process of change. It’s no wonder that many of my clients tell me that they wish they could just skip the therapy and just feel better. Unfortunately, therapy is not a quick fix, but here are some tips to make your experience in therapy as successful as possible.
- It takes two to tango
Therapy occurs within the relationship between the client and therapist. So, don’t just sit there, take an active part in your therapy. This is your therapy, so don’t hesitate to get involved.
- Be prepared
Even before your first session, try to articulate your reasons for seeking help, and what you would like to change in therapy. One way to prepare is to write it down. Try making a list, and read it out loud. Sometimes hearing yourself describe your issue can offer you the clarity you need to make the most of your time with your therapist. But don’t fret if it doesn’t come out clear. Often times my work with my clients is identifying exactly what their issue is.
- Be open and honest
Needless to say you should be truthful when answering your therapists questions and sharing the details of your history and current situation. But you should also be open and honest with yourself.
Therapists are trained to ask the right questions, but we’re not mind readers. So, listen to your reactions and feelings and share them with your therapist. This will enable your therapist to do their job more effectively.
- Ask questions
Therapy, and how it works, can be a bit of an enigma, especially because not all therapists work the same way. If you have any questions about the therapy process, at any time throughout therapy, don’t hesitate to ask your therapist, and keep asking until you understand. The more you understand how therapy works, and specifically what is happening in your therapy experience, the more comfortable you’ll be and the more successful you’ll be.
- You can run but you can’t hide
It’s not uncommon that at some point during your therapy to develop strong feelings for your therapist, positive or negative. These feelings may be difficult to manage, since they are often familiar feelings that you have encountered in other relationships. Often it’s at this point that people want to run from the therapeutic relationship, and never look back.
While it is your choice to discontinue therapy at any time, it’s advisable that you confront and discuss these feelings with your therapist. What’s so unique about the therapeutic relationship, unlike other relationships, is that you can confront and reflect on difficult feelings with the therapist, and gain greater understanding and insight into your self. After all, that’s likely one of the reasons you sought therapy in the first place.
Remember that therapy is not a quick fix for your problems, but rather a process that begins with finding a therapist that listens attentively, works with you to explore and understand your issues and helps you gain newer understanding and clarity in your life.