I have already talked about the sorts of things you should be doing in therapy, but now I would like to point out some things you shouldn’t be doing. Most of these things I will mention are pretty obvious, but there are some other things that might not be so obvious and yet still need to be avoided…
Raise Your Voice (unless they say it is OK to do so)
There are times in therapy when you might get angry, you might get upset and at those times it can be hard to control the tone of your voice. Unless your therapist has told you to get angry and shout you need to keep as much control of your emotions as you can. The key thing key is to let your therapist guide you and if they tell you to stop talking and start doing breathing exercises you should do so.
Become Friends With Them
At the end of the day, it can be easy to think of your therapist as your friend, someone to confined in and relax with. But you should also understand that this friendship shouldn’t extend outside of the therapy session. Don’t meet up with them after it and don’t see them as someone to text and chat to whenever you want. They are there to help you, but only in the confines of the session.
Fall in Love With Them
This might sound obvious to most people, but this can be easier said than done. You tell your therapist your inner, darkest secrets and sometimes ‘Transference’ happens and you might now realise it.
In the words of “goodtherapy.org” – Transference describes a situation where the feelings, desires, and expectations of one person are redirected and applied to another person. Most commonly, transference refers to a therapeutic setting, where a person in therapy may apply certain feelings or emotions toward the therapist.
Tell Them Your Crimes
This is something to be VERY aware of. Your therapist has a duty of care to not only yourself but anyone else that might be harmed or in danger by something you have said or already done. They are not your local priest and confessions are not private if they involve other people. Please don’t get me wrong, if you need to confess then that is what you should be doing! Just be aware and understand their duties of care as a qualified therapist.
Ask Your Therapist Personal Questions
This kind of falls into the “friendship” zone of things you should do. Even if they share information with you like they have children, or they have been in therapy themselves you shouldn’t try and dig deeper on that subject. Your sessions need to be about you and your thoughts so try not to waste it talking about them.
Expect More Time
You should never expect more time than the usual “therapy hour” (50 minutes) even if your therapist often runs over that time with you. Don’t expect it every time and even during the toughest of sessions don’t expect them to give you more time to get over it. A good therapist will always wrap things up and unwind with you before leaving.
Ask for Discounts or Freebies
You might think your therapist will give you a discount if you have been going a long time, but you need to understand there are costs to therapy, like business tax, location rents and of course their own professional time. Just because you have been going every week for a year doesn’t mean anything. But if you are struggling to afford the sessions do talk to them about it as they might be able to help in other ways.
Try and Communicate Outside of Therapy Sessions
This is one of those things that is a multitude of the things I have already mentioned. It could be transference or just becoming overly friendly. Don’t ring them expecting a teleconference session and don’t text or email them asking them all sorts of questions. You should be contacting them with problems about payment or arranging times for the sessions, but never discuss anything you might do so inside a therapy session.
Invade Their Personal Space
Don’t get all “up in their grill” as people say. Don’t get angry, don’t go into their personal space for any reason unless they have explicitly instructed you to do so. Even something as leaning in for a kiss on the cheek or a hug could be seen as invading their personal space so don’t do it. Your therapist is there to guide you on all things, including how to confront them and other people.
Never Be Silently Unsatisfied
And I finish this post with something that you REALLY shouldn’t be doing. If you are not happy with the way things are going, or not happy with your current progress you need to tell your therapist this! A good therapist will even suggest someone else for you to see if you are not getting on with them. Never waste your time and theirs being silent about how unsatisfied you are feeling.
Well there you go, I think I have coved some important things in this list, but if you can think of any more things not to do with your therapist or during your therapy sessions, do let me know in the comments below.