Updated: Nov 9, 2020
The word therapy no longer has an ominous ring to it. Gone are the days when therapy was a hush-hush affair. These days, people seeking therapy are not looked at with pity, they are rather seen as “brave,” taking action to solve the mental crisis they are facing instead of burying it deep within themselves.
People are often confused about how to introduce this new-found peace into their everyday life. They are unsure of how to keep themselves focused and happy once they are out of therapy and on their own. Here are seven tips for making the most of therapy.
Tip # 1: Tarnish the Taboo
The first tip and this defines your entire experience with therapy, is to acknowledge the problem wholeheartedly. Understanding that you might need extra help to untangle your emotions is the first thing you need to make peace with. Therapy is not a death sentence, and like any other ailment of the body, problems with mental health deserve to be addressed promptly and be dealt with kindness. Remove the archaic taboo that clouds your judgment and free yourself to start something new.
Seeking help just means you care about yourself enough to get better.
Tip # 2: Mind over Matter
An important part of therapy is taking it seriously. Think of it this way: some patients heal faster with placebos than the patients receiving the actual drug. A motto that can help quell your doubt is: Mind over Matter.
Give therapy and your therapist an honest try and belief that this might change things around. It means scheduling regular appointments and making it a point to arrive at the set time or even before it. Doing this helps you mentally prepare for your session and also get the most out of it.
Tip # 3: Let Your Guard Down
The path to lifelong healing can only be paved once there is free and open communication from you. It means letting your guard down and trusting the psychologist in front of you.
Another thing that helps is acknowledging that you are in a safe place and that it is okay to speak your mind.
Tip # 4: Be Honest
Try to give your therapist your history as honestly as you can. In most cases, your psychologist does not know you before your first session. It means informing of any essential information as vividly as you remember. This is not an invasion of your privacy and helps the sessions flow more smoothly. The doctor-patient confidentiality protects your information from being leaked out, so you do not have to worry about any breach of privacy here.
Tip # 5: Track Your Progress
The therapists make their notes, and you should make your own. Write down a list of possible concerns you want to bring to the table and convey to your therapist the urgency with which they need to be addressed. This helps you route the conversation to a more meaningful end. Bring a notepad along with you and write down any advice your therapist might give that resonates with you. This will help you feel more engaged, less clueless, and keep track of your progress.
Tip # 6: Work out Your Kinks
Tell your therapist when you have a problem with them. Both of you are just getting to know each other, and it is best to work out any kinks in the relationship right at the start of it. Again, give things time to settle down, but if you do not see yourself enjoying a certain therapist, you can switch to another one.
Remember, therapy does not work unless you do.
Tip # 7: Keep Doing What You Love
Attend your sessions regularly and attentively, but also give other things time. This means partaking in other activities that might interest you. There is no one specific thing that might work for everyone. You just need to know what works for you.
Anything worth doing has its ups and downs. Remember not to get disillusioned if the results are not immediate. There are no quick fixes to mental health and that nothing worthwhile is ever easy, and if it easy, it is not worth it.
The Counselling and Wellbeing Centre can help you with your emotional and physical well-being. We offer practical strategies so that you can have a healthy and happy life. You can contact us at (07) 3891 2273 to find more information or to schedule an appointment.