Getting the Best Out of your Therapy Sessions
Author: Yaji Category: Counseling & Communication Published: March 24, 2014
Therapy is an investment in your most important asset – yourself! A session with a therapist might feel a little daunting since sharing your pains and vulnerabilities with a complete stranger is often not a natural thing to do for most people.
Feeling nervous or outright scared is perfectly natural in such situations. However, it is important to remember that there are steps you can take to affect the outcome of a therapy session to work in your favor.
Talking about your thoughts and feelings with a person who is supportive and motivating can make you feel better and well cared for. Sharing emotions that are weighing on your mind with someone has the ability to heal and bring solace.In addition to the solace and relief that you will feel by the nature of sharing deeply held emotions, you can create deep lasting change.
Following are four tips that can immensely benefit the outcome of your therapy sessions:
1. Get clear that 100% of you WANTS to change
While this may seem easy enough and you may think, I do want to change 100%!, It often isn’t that clear – that’s likely why you are stuck and seeking out assistance. While you may feel miserable and desperate to change, if there is any small part of you that doesn’t want to change, you won’t! The part of you that doesn’t want to change will often be holding on to a negative irrational belief such as: I am not lovable, I am not worthy, I don’t deserve it, I am not good enough, I am bad.
The tricky piece is that most times these part(s) are hidden and unconscious. Consciously and intellectually, of course you know you are lovable, good, etc., but what happens on an emotional / unconscious / nervous system level is an entirely different thing. Uncovering and changing these beliefs is the key to creating long lasting change and relief.
2. Honesty, Introspection and Openness to Feedback
This step ties into step #2 and will help you get fully aligned with the change you want to create. Talking to a therapist guarantees complete confidentiality. The relationship you share with your therapist will be completely different than any other relationship in your life.
A therapist will offer you an encouraging environment free of any judgments or criticism. So, while you might be apprehensive about sharing personal information with complete strangers, sharing with your therapist in as much honesty as possible will help you reach your goals. Remember, the therapist is not there to judge you, but to support you in your pain.
Benefits of the therapy session can be affected if you are not completely transparent and are holding off information. Although this can be difficult as mentioned in step #2, the things that keep us stuck are often unconscious, and they are unconscious for a reason! It is difficult to admit those things to ourselves. Introspection, self-awareness, honesty (with both yourself and your therapist) and being open to feedback can help you find the parts of you that unconsciously don’t want to change. Once you find these pieces you can work with your therapist to release and reframe those beliefs on a deep core level.
3. Make a commitment to your therapy
Do your part and be diligent when taking a therapy session. Don’t skip sessions unless you absolutely have to. If the therapist assigns some work to be done at home, make sure you follow through. Make healthy lifestyle changes. Do things that can support your mood and improve your emotional well-being.
A therapy is session is all about you. But you cannot expect a therapist to work alone and do wonders. You have to make the efforts on your part to drive yourself to a better position in life. Adopt a positive attitude; a therapy session will see you through.
4. Keep a positive attitude and have faith that you do have the power to change!
There is a lot of emerging evidence that the energy and thoughts you put in to something is what you will get out of it. When you look for something, chances are very high that you will find it. For example, when you buy a new car, now all of a sudden you start noticing that car everywhere. In your therapy sessions and in your life, if you are looking for evidence that you are growing happier, healthier and stronger you will find it and the same goes for the opposite.
So if you find yourself in a negative frame of mind, try to refocus on something that makes you feel good. If you feel that you have good rapport with your therapist, having faith and a positive mental attitude, paired with your therapist’s psychological expertise, and ability to see the things that are not perceptible to you. Together you can co-construct a plan that best meets your needs and will bring you the distance.
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