Don’t know how to make the most of out of therapy? Let’s talk about it.
Entering the world of therapy can often times feel overwhelming, because well, everyones therapy experience is different. There is no playbook, there is no definitive road to healing, so you have to go into this journey with an open mind and even more open-heart. One thing people tend to disregard is that you are in complete control of what benefits and healing you reap from your sessions. Without sure a plan and a good connections, it’s so easy to fall into the “therapy just didn’t work for me” excuse. So before you decide to give up, check out the below tips, and maybe incorporate them into your journey so you can make the most of therapy.
Be Open-Minded, But Be Choosy Too, Sis.
Date your therapist. Seriously. Date them. I say this every time someone approaches me on how to find a therapist, and the key to finding a good fit for you is to test the waters. Set up multiple consultations with multiple therapists. Ask them questions. Allow them to ask you questions. Let them know the best way to communicate with you. Tell them what you like and do not like. For therapy to be beneficial for you, it’s important that you and your chosen professional vibe and connect. And if after multiple sessions, you guys just can’t get there, that’s okay! Begin your hunt again, and find your perfect match. I promise you, they won’t be offended (and if they are, that’s not your problem.)
One thing that is sweet about therapy, is that your secrets are always safe*, so this should be more of an incentive to let loose, and share whatever is on your mind. Being honest with your therapist is such a key step to ensure you make the most out of therapy and make progress with your healing and goals. They’re not here to judge you, and the more you share (within your boundaries) and in an unfiltered form, the better helps it them to put the pieces of your puzzle together. This goes beyond the heavy stories and trauma in your life. My therapist knows about my obsession with a clean bathroom and my need to always have my nails done. She knows my pain-points, my pleasures, and my quirkiness which helps her to fully understand the stories and problems I bring to the table. By you being honest and trusting them with your narrative, you open the doors to a better connection and progression on this journey.
*please note: if you’re in danger to yourself and others, then your therapist has the right to inform the authorities.
Have a general idea of what you want to chat about during your sessions. Something happened at work and it ruined your day? Bring that up. You keep having reoccurring thoughts that make you feel shitty about yourself? Add that to the list too. Give your therapist something to work with. Chances are once you get to recapping these stories or expressing these feelings, their practice wheels will begin turning, and questions and challenges will be presented. Don’t get me wrong, there are some days when I walk into therapy with nothing to share, those days will absolutely happen. But the point here is to be intentional about your sessions. Your therapist isn’t miracle worker.
Do the work
Speaking of your therapist not being a miracle worker, do the damn work. You can’t just show up in therapy, rant & rave, and then take your ass home. This is not how it works. You’re wasting both your and your therapist’s time. Participate in your healing process. Challenge yourself. Take what you’ve discussed within your sessions, and then implement them on your own. Think of this as a partnership. Yes, your therapist is here to guide and support you on your way to a better and whole you, but how far and how well you progress ultimately falls on you. You own that portion. Set up goals for what you are hoping to accomplish and tackle. Regularly check-in with yourself and your therapist to make sure you’re gaining ground on these same goals. Use each breakthrough and challenge as an opportunity to grow.
Be Good To You
Remember, you’re not broken, so don’t expect to go to therapy to be “fixed”. Treat yourself with some grace and compassion on this journey. IT’ll take time, but you’re worth all that time and the positives that come along with it.