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10 Tips for Making the Most of Your Therapy Sessions

Updated: Jun 6

Therapy can be expensive and sometimes a rather long-term commitment. Ensuring that you are making the most of every session would be prudent. Firstly, you want to ensure you have found the right practitioner for your needs. Next, you will want to be clear on how to prepare for each session, how to make the most of each session, and what to do between each session to maximise your gains from therapy. This article will provide 10 tips for making the most of your therapy sessions.


Content: Making the most of your therapy sessions

  • Before Each Therapy Session

    • Get yourself in the right mindset

    • Reflect on and set goals

  • During Each Therapy Session

    • Be ready to engage

    • Stay present

    • Be open and honest

    • Communicate with your therapist

  • Between Each Therapy Session

    • Keep a journal

    • Do your homework

    • Practice self-care

    • Manage your expectations and stay committed



Successfully reached the peak


Before Each Therapy Session

It is always better to come prepared, regardless of whether it is your first or subsequent session. Get yourself into the right mindset and think about what you want to bring up during and what you want to accomplish by the end of the session.


1. Get yourself into the right mindset

You will want to be in the right frame of mind before you start so that you do not have to take precious minutes from your session to settle down. It is recommended that you try to reach 5 to 10 minutes before the start of your session to give yourself time to detach yourself from the hustle and bustle of the day and prepare yourself to begin the inner work. Three slow and deep breaths can be very effective in helping you calm down and feel more grounded and focused before beginning your session.


2. Reflect on and set goals

Once you feel settled, take some time to gather your thoughts and reflect on what you would like to bring up for exploration during the session. Clients sometimes feel pressure to have

a major problem topic to discuss. However, this is not always necessary. Therapy is not just about solving problems. It is also about deeper self-understanding and personal growth. Talking about what is going well in life or something you have noticed about yourself can be a very therapeutic experience.



During Each Therapy Session

Therapy is, primarily, driven by the quality of the interaction between therapist and client. Both must be present and actively engaged in the conversation to make meaningful progress.


3. Be ready to engage

Therapy is a collaborative effort. This means your participation is just as important as the therapist’s, if not more. Your active participation would involve engaging in the dialogue, discussing your thoughts and feelings, immersing yourself in the experience, monitoring your progress, and providing feedback on what you believe is working and what is not. Your therapist is not there to solve your issue, but rather to hold a space where you can do so.



4. Stay present

Therapy is very delicate and sensitive work. Insight and progress only occur under specific conditions, which require time and effort to foster. It also requires two very attentive participants to catch these brief moments. It is important to allow yourself to become fully immersed in the therapeutic process and to stay focused in your session. This would include minimising distractions. One suggestion is to switch your phone to silent or aeroplane mode and keep it away in your bag or pocket. Sudden distractions from your phone can cause you to lose your train of thought or overlook valuable moments.


5. Be open and honest

The therapeutic space is the one space that is specially designed and legally protected for people to be vulnerable, open, and honest. It is important that you feel free and comfortable to verbalise your deepest thoughts and feelings – only when we can bring these to the surface can we extrapolate the deeper meaning and gain the insight and understanding needed to make true progress.

If you feel uncomfortable sharing something you can always bring it up with your therapist. You do not have to worry about judgment, criticism, or offending your therapist. Your therapist’s job is to make you feel as safe and comfortable as possible or refer you to someone who can.


6. Communicate with your therapist

Your therapist is there to help you, but they need your input to do so effectively. If you have concerns about your therapy, such as the pace, techniques, or therapeutic relationship, communicate these to your therapist. Open communication ensures that your therapy remains aligned with your needs and goals. Also, do not hesitate to ask questions if you are unclear about something or want more information about a particular topic. Your therapist will be happy to help you.



Between Each Therapy Session

The gap between sessions can differ from client to client. What is important is how the time between is utilised. Psychological issues can take years to form. The few hours of therapy that you will have would be a pale comparison. That makes the time between sessions just as important as the sessions themselves. Spend time to reflect after your session and practice what was learnt. By optimising your time in between sessions, you speed up your progress along the way.


7. Keep a journal

Maintaining a journal is one of the most powerful therapeutic tools. Write down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences between sessions. Note down any recurring themes, triggers, or significant events. Consider bringing your journal to your sessions to take notes or recall important points you would like to discuss with your therapist. You could also take some time after each session to jot down what you learnt, how you felt, and any insights you gained before you have time to forget. Reflecting on your experience and progress can also help you stay motivated and focused on your goals.


8. Do your homework

During sessions, you will often discuss plans and strategies for overcoming certain issues or for personal development. Practice the skills and techniques you have learnt in therapy between sessions to reinforce your progress and make more meaningful changes in your life.


9. Practice Self-care

Taking care of yourself outside therapy is just as important as the session. Engage in activities that nurture your well-being, such as exercise, healthy eating, and spending time with loved ones. Self-care practices can enhance your resilience and support your therapeutic work.


10. Manage your expectations and stay committed

Finally, understand that therapy is a process, not a quick fix. Progress can be gradual, and it might take time to see significant changes. Be patient with yourself and the therapeutic process. Setting realistic expectations can prevent frustration and help you stay committed to your long-term goals.

Staying committed and attending therapy regularly is vital for achieving meaningful and lasting progress. Regular sessions help maintain the momentum of therapeutic work and prevent stagnation. Consistent engagement ensures that the insights and skills developed in one session can be reinforced and expanded upon in the next, leading to continuous growth. Regular sessions also allow you and your therapist to closely monitor your progress more accurately and make timely adjustments to the treatment plan if necessary.



In Conclusion

Your therapy sessions are an investment in your long-term well-being and personal growth. Set yourself up for a more fruitful and meaningful therapeutic journey by making the most of every therapy session.

 

If you're ready to take the next step in your journey or have any questions about preparing for therapy, please do not hesitate to reach out. We are here to support you every step of the way.

 

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