To get the most out of your therapy sessions, you need a balance of focused reflection and spontaneous exploration. Let your feelings flow freely but take a step back to reflect on your thoughts and emotions. Here are some tips for cultivating sustainable results from therapy:
Find the Right Therapist
Find a therapist with experience in treating your specific issue. Consider the kind of therapist you would prefer based on gender, experience, and physical location. These factors can make it easier for you to trust the therapist and to be more open during your sessions.
Do your research by taking your time to interview different candidates till you find one that meets your needs. Use medical and personal referrals to make the search easier.
Have Positive and Realistic Expectations
Understand that you will not be okay after only one or two sessions. A common misconception is that therapists provide you with tools to better your life in a single session. This is not the case. You require at least three sessions to get to know each other and build trust before the real work begins.
Having the wrong expectations could impact your psychotherapy sessions. You could get frustrated that things are not moving as quickly as you expected and fail to see your actual progress.
Express All Your Emotions
Avoid hiding your emotions to make the most out of your sessions. With the right therapist, opening up can be easy after just a few sessions. Your emotions may not come rushing out initially, but you will feel more comfortable expressing them over time.
Whenever you feel comfortable, bring out all your emotions and understand that you are in a safe space. Expressing emotions is a great way to resolve your pain, conflict, and frustrations.
Focusing on your positive emotions helps to shed light on any associated negative behaviors. Be willing to step back from your negative emotions and observe everything in your life. This provides a channel to understand yourself better and control your feelings without allowing your emotions to get out of control.
Continue the Work After Your Session
Apply the lessons you learn in real-life situations. Therapy does not end after your sessions. It is an ongoing process that requires consistency. Once you progress and understand some of your behaviors, apply the lessons anytime you are in a similar situation.
For instance, you could focus on repairing a broken relationship with someone in your life. Be intentional about how you want to behave. This helps you avoid difficult situations that leave you depressed and anxious. You could also start meditation or exercise to actualize the changes in your real life.
Say What’s on Your Mind
Always open up, and do not be afraid to speak your thoughts. Open up about all the strange or unsettling thoughts that you never share with anyone. Therapy sessions are safe spaces to express whatever is on your mind. The odder your thoughts are, the better the therapist understands your thought patterns.
If you are unsure what to say, look into the deeper issues. Identify the real reasons you joined psychotherapy. Talk to your therapist about all the new things you are learning about yourself. This can help you gain progress and control over your life.
Identify Patterns and Themes
Instead of focusing on individual sessions, connect the dots to identify the patterns and themes throughout multiple sessions. Psychotherapy is most effective when you relate your experiences to understand your personality and responses to different circumstances.
Your therapist helps to recognize these patterns and find a way to break them. With time, you learn to navigate your feelings independently without waiting for your therapist.
Getting the Most Out of Therapy
If you plan to start therapy, do all you can to take advantage of this resource. Follow these tips to get the most out of your sessions. Take your time finding a good therapist. Having the right person to trust and connect with can make all the difference in your journey to recovery.
Fix your expectations and start your sessions with openness. Your therapist helps you identify negative patterns in your life and guides you to break them, improving your life quality. Though the first steps may be intimidating, you’ll be glad you had the courage to take care of your mental and emotional wellbeing.