4 Tips For Getting the Most Out of Therapy
Getting the most out of therapy is not as straightforward as it might seem. Follow these tips to get the maximum out of it and improve your mental health.
These days we all live at a breakneck pace. Add the fact that our world is changing and becoming scarier by the minute and it is easy to see why therapy is more of a necessity than a luxury.
But getting the most out of therapy is not as straightforward as it might seem. Follow these tips to get the maximum out of it and improve your mental health.
Do your research beforehand
Different folks have different minds and different mindsets.
Therefore, it is entirely expected that one therapy method might be a perfect fit for someone, while it won’t be as effective for you. Here are some of the most prevalent types of treatment that you might find:
- Psychoanalytic and psychodynamic therapy - this is the type of therapy that comes to mind when you think of Freud and a patient lying on a sofa while the therapist is taking notes. During these sessions, patients learn about themselves by exploring their subconsciousness and hidden motives.
- Cognitive therapy - focuses on what people think instead of their actions. The idea is that by changing their thoughts and thought patterns, people can also change their actions.
- Humanistic therapy - focuses on the almost limitless potential of people to adapt, overcome, and change. During humanistic therapy sessions, the therapist is not much of an authority. Instead, they are more of an enabler and a companion that is supposed to help the patient unlock their true potential.
- Buddhist Psychotherapy - this is one style of holistic therapy, which means that it is not limited to just one approach or one set of ideas. This type of therapy combines philosophical and contemplative practices of Buddhism, such as meditation, with Western treatment.
See what sounds appealing to you and search for a therapist that fits your needs.
Know that it is OK to change your choice
It bears repeating - the mind is a strange thing. So even if you did your due research and picked the type of therapy that should be the right match for you, sometimes that is not enough. And that is OK.
Once you know what type of therapist you need, check what your area has to offer. Then grab the phone and make a call. Ask them about their stance on anything important to you - be it politics, sexuality, gender identity, or any other thing that is essential to you and your feeling of safety.
If you and your therapist don’t agree on those fundamental ideas that are crucial to you, odds are you won’t establish good communication. And good communication is essential for an excellent patient-therapist relationship.
Next, see if you can schedule a free consultation. Once you meet your potential therapist face to face, it is easier to know if you vibe well with them.
Some people search for a paternal or a guardian figure as their ideal therapist. Others seek someone who will be their peer instead of an authority figure.
Give that initial session a try and trust your gut. Then, if everything feels OK, congrats - you have found your new therapist.
Understand that therapy is a process
Almost every one of us is dealing with some sort of mental health issue - general or social anxiety, depression or trauma, or at the very least, your garden variety stress.
Once you find a therapist that matches your needs, the two of you will enter a special relationship.
A skilled therapist will help you discover the roots of your problems and destructive behavioral patterns. Then, they might equip you with the skills and tools needed to avoid and overcome those obstacles and become a much better version of yourself.
But you need to understand that self-improvement of any kind takes time.
Your first regular visit to the therapist might be more like a doctor’s appointment than anything else. Then, of course, there will be forms to sign and paperwork to fill, and even some ground rules to set. But once you have done that, your healing process can start.
You are not done with therapy once the session is over
As stated above, once they get to know you and what makes you tick, your therapist will provide you with tips and tricks on how to avoid harmful behavior in the real world.
Some therapists might even assign you homework or ask you to keep a journal. You must trust the process and do what they ask you to do.
Some days you will leave the therapist’s office all loaded with energy and ready to take over the world. Other times the sessions will be so intense and emotionally draining that you will be more tired than you thought was humanly possible.
Just stick to your guns and know that it is all normal. In the end, your mental wellbeing will be significantly improved, and that is all that should matter.