Let’s face it, therapy is not cheap. So making sure you get the most out of every session with your therapist is a must and these ten tips will help you do just that. While every therapist is different and everyone going to therapy is there for a different reason there are still some things you can do that will maximise the benefits you get from each session…
Make Those 50 Minutes Last 1 Hour
Most therapist will run on a 50-minute ‘therapy hour’ timeline, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it an hour yourself. If you find yourself all tight and nervous at the start of your therapy sessions simply arrive there ten min early and do some light breathing exercises that your therapist will often do with you. That way you get the full ‘therapy hour’ to unwind and talk about the things you need to.
Don’t Look at The Clock
If you find yourself constantly looking at the clock you are probably not concentrating on what matters. Maybe ask to face away from it, or maybe try and ignore it yourself. Let your therapist control the time and wrap up the session within it as they might well go over time if it is important to you.
Don’t Worry About Timelines
The truth is everyone is different and there is no “time frame” in which to feel better. I have personally been going to therapy for years and still feel the need to go every week. Your therapist knows when it is time for you to stop and will tell you so, but if you still feel the need to go just tell them! Talking of telling them…
Tell Your Therapist The Truth
Are you having trouble paying? Do you feel your sessions are getting you nowhere? Are you struggling more and more as time passes? Let your therapist know! They are not psychic, they don’t know what you are thinking unless you tell them and even if that is money related they will offer all the help they can.
Make Notes When Not in Therapy
This is probably one of the best things you can do outside of the therapy session to get the most when inside of it. Make note of feelings (good and bad) and also any thoughts, questions and problems you are experiencing. That way you are not wasting time in the session trying to find something you need to talk about.
Try and Understand Yourself and Your Emotions
By learning about yourself and your emotions outside of the therapy session you can increase the time with your therapist getting the answers you need. Much like taking notes you can listen to audio books or maybe read a real book or online help and advice. The more you learn about yourself the easier those powerful emotions will be to understand. You don’t need to become a therapist yourself, just more knowledgable about you.
Let Yourself Go
If you need to cry in your therapy session you should let yourself go! If you need to laugh at the wrong times, then laugh! By being true to your emotions it will help the therapist get a better understanding of how troubled you are and what makes you happy and that could mean feeling better a lot faster.
Like Your Therapist!
If you don’t like something about your life the saying goes that you should try and change it, and never is that truer than with your therapist. If you don’t “gell” with them or feel you are getting anything out of the session you should try talking to your therapist as we have already discussed. But if that doesn’t work try seeing someone new until you find the right one! The best therapist is not the most expensive, nor or the most qualified. They are the right person for you and you alone.
Pick The Right Day
While some therapist can be quite busy you can often find some leeway in the day your sessions are scheduled. Try and discover what day is best for you. Is it Friday when you are feeling more relaxed and ready for the weekend ahead, or is it Monday when you can’t face another week of work. Personally, I always go on a Wednesday as it gives me something to break the week up with.
Don’t Go When You Don’t Want To Go!
Most therapist will say there is a charge for not attending the session (this is normally 50% of the cost of the session), but that shouldn’t stop you from not attending when you are really not up for it. While of course, it is better to cancel the session as early as possible. If that is not practical you shouldn’t go if you don’t feel up to it and save yourself that 50%! We all get colds and flu, plus we all have good days and bad days (especially those of us with mental health problems) so don’t be afraid to tell them you are simply not up for it this week, they will be more understanding than you might think.