By: Linda “Mickey” Jensen, Practicum Counselor

Are you new to therapy or would you like to improve your role in the therapeutic process? Check out these helpful tips to learn a bit more about the therapeutic process.

  1. Get the most out of your session time…a therapy hour is actually 45 minutes, so plan to be early and make the most of your experience by allowing time to “catch your breath, collect your thoughts, and prepare for your session.”
  2. First order of business…take care of payment, insurance questions, and scheduling prior to the start of your session. It can feel a bit awkward to come out of a session after just having an emotional breakthrough to then have to change gears to make a payment and navigate a calendar. Do yourself a favor and get the business items out of the way before your session.
  3. Let the work begin…when you enter into therapy, you and your therapist are establishing what is called a therapeutic relationship.” So, once the business is done, next on the agenda is addressing any issues you may have regarding your relationship with your therapist. Maybe you felt angry after the last session, you’re thinking about ending therapy early, or you have been worrying about what the therapist thinks of you. Your thoughts and feelings about therapy and your relationship with your therapist are important because they will impact the whole therapy process. Make them a priority for discussion.
  4. You are the expert on you…therapy is more about helping you come to your own conclusions than having the therapist make decisions for you or give you advice. This may feel frustrating at times, but it will be beneficial to you in the long run.
  5. Do good work between sessions…therapy works best when you take what you’ve learned and apply it to the rest of your week. Between sessions, journal your reflections from your last session, complete the challenge provided by your counselor, and notice areas in your life you’d like to explore.

 

Taken from Psychology Today’s article “21 Tips for Clients in Psychotherapy: What Should You Talk About in Therapy?” by Ryan Howes, PhD, ABPP

Check out this link for the full article and additional helpful ideas: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-therapy/201005/21-tips-clients-in-psychotherapy