While having a good therapist is important, what you do with the therapist is just as important. Counseling is not passive. It requires your active participation, motivation and commitment. Clients who work hard at helping themselves are more likely to have successful therapy outcomes.
- Give the Therapist Access to the Real You (Be Totally Honest & Vulnerable)
- Give Your Therapist Feedback (Tell Them How You Feel About Your Sessions)
- Periodically Ask Your Therapist to Assess Your Progress
- Reflect on the Goals of Therapy
- Prioritize Your Therapy and Personal Growth
- Be an Active Part of Your Team: Know Your Treatment Goals and Objectives
- Be Kind to Yourself – Therapy is Hard Work , Good Self-Care is Important
- Sleep well, Get exercise, Stay Well nourished
- Devote Time to Growth Between Sessions
- Think About Next Steps to Achieve Your Goals
Listen to Your Discomfort
Expect emotional discomfort, as it is always part of the growth process. In therapy you will take risks, and try novel ways of thinking and behaving. Your growth depends on your ability to tolerate this discomfort. It’s crucial to choose a therapist you trust so that when discomfort strikes, you feel safe enough to let down your walls and examine the cause.
Discomfort is revealing and useful, often it signals a problem area for you, and exploring it with your therapist can be a catalyst for profound change. There is an exception, however. If your discomfort doesn’t stem from your own ‘stuff’, but from your relationship with your therapist, it could be a red flag telling you that your therapist might not be the right fit for you. Trust yourself on this.
Be Open to Change
You’re embarking on therapy for support and guidance to make changes in your life. Since how you’ve been currently living (thinking, behaving, etc.) is no longer working for you like you want it to, it’s time to take your life off of autopilot and try something new. If you’re with a therapist you trust, take the risk… you have nothing to lose.