In a previous blog I wrote, I outlined the difference between psychotherapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists.
If you’d like to understand that before reading further:
There are many different approaches to therapy, and these different approaches can drastically change how therapy works and how psychotherapists engage with their clients. The approaches used usually reflect the person’s reasons for coming in for therapy and their individual situation. As a blanket statement, psychotherapists support individuals, families, or couples looking for some changes in their lives. Therapy can provide you with information on your maladaptive moods, thoughts, and behavior patterns and allows you to take control of your life, receive validation and support, and learn healthy coping skills.
Psychotherapy can be used on literally anyone and everyone and isn’t meant for people with severe mental health challenges or challenging life situations. As the stigma of mental health changes, more and more people are seeking out therapy. During this COVID-19 pandemic, it is easy to fall into depression, anxiety, feelings of isolation, or even just a realization of your unhealthy patterns and coping mechanisms.
Are you looking for support during COVID-19?
Here are some steps to take to be sure you get the most out of your psychotherapy experience:
Find the right therapist: Make sure you find a therapist that you feel comfortable with and are at ease in their presence. If you feel any transference, discomfort, or blockages with being honest, you should find another therapist with whom you resonate more with.
You and your therapist are a team: You and your therapist should be on the same team working towards your happiness and highest good. As a client, you need to be active in the process and work together with your therapist to set goals and make decisions together.
Put in the work: As stated above, you and your therapist are a team. Therapy will never work if you are only going in for sessions and not putting in any more work than that. Have faith it will work, desire getting better, complete the work asked of you, take the therapist’s suggestions, and put in your part of the work!
Be transparent and authentic: Therapy will only work if you are open and honest with your therapist about how you feel and what is going on in your life. Some things may feel embarrassing, uncomfortable, or emotional to talk about, and that is okay. Just be sure to be upfront with your therapist to ensure the best results, and remember, your therapist is not there to judge you but is there to support you. Try not to hold back on sharing with them! If the approaches they try on you don’t work, be open about it. Your therapist likely has other tools in their toolbox to help you with!
Stick with it: Sometimes, therapy can be challenging or frustrating, and you may be tempted to skip sessions or stop coming due to this. In therapy, things can sometimes get worse before they get better. Don’t disrupt your progress and stick to your treatment plan.
Results are rarely instant: Results often take time to achieve, and don’t allow this to discourage you from continuing to put in the hard work. Hard work always pays off!
Do the homework: Yes, therapists often provide homework between sessions such as journaling, documents to fill out, activities, etc. Do this homework because it often helps you apply what you’ve learned in your therapy sessions or gives you interesting perspectives and insights on your life and situation.
What are your New Year’s resolutions?
Are you looking to live a happier, more fulfilled life?
Let’s work together!