Therapy has proven to be very effective in treating a variety of needs; but as much as you may rely on your therapist, it is also important that you are putting in the appropriate work to ensure that your treatment is successful. This is not a one-sided transaction where your therapist does all of the work. It is a shared practice between the both of you.
All too often we see individuals putting their growth and healing second to other things in life, and during summertime that behavior is even more common. It is easy to become distracted by day to day activities, but when you aren’t taking the time and energy to focus on your healing it can significantly slow or harm your progress.
In order to continue getting the most out of your therapy, here are some ways that you can be your best advocate throughout this process.
- Attend your sessions
Although this seems like somewhat of a no-brainer, it is the first and biggest offense to progress in therapy. In order for you to truly heal it is important that you are attending your sessions no matter the season. It is common that during the summer months you will have other activities that may seem more appealing, and all of the good weather might even have you feeling completely better. But these things are temporary while your health and wellness is permanent. Make sure that you are taking the time to spend with your therapist year-round so that you are not setting yourself back in the healing process.
- Do the work outside of sessions
Real change does not happen in the therapists’ office. With the resources you receive in your sessions it is your job to go out into daily life and implement changes. It is easy for people to get caught up in the busyness of life, but if you are not putting things into practice the growth will not be seen. Without the steps forward being made outside of your sessions you will not see improvement and your care will start to become redundant and stalled. Do yourself a favor and be sure to always put your best foot forward as you are implementing new change and behavior into daily life.
- Ask questions
Throughout your therapy journey it is important that you do not hesitate to ask questions of your therapist. It is easy to get confused by certain topics such as diagnoses and treatment plans. If you do not take the initiative in asking follow-up questions you will not be armed with the tools that you need to improve. We can only give you the information and resources that we know you need and the more you ask the better off you will be in your steps toward healing.
- Be Honest
It can be extremely intimidating to disclose such personal information to your therapist. We understand that you may be nervous or shameful of some of the things that you wish to express in therapy, including any relapses in your progress that may have occurred. While we respect that it is difficult for people to be completely transparent, we strongly encourage that you be as honest as possible with your therapist throughout this relationship. Lack in honesty and transparency will only delay your progress and distract from your true needs. We as counselors need to know who and what we are treating, if you are not honest it is very difficult to execute that. Counselors are the most trustworthy and unbiased people that you can disclose information to so please do not hesitate to be forthcoming with all of your concerns, needs and thoughts.
- Be Consistent
What all of this boils down to is the important of consistency. Consistency in your attendance, your practice and your communication. Without constant practice it becomes very difficult for any progress to be made. Therapists are advocates for a better you but we cannot do our job without your hard work and dedication. Let’s continue to work together towards hope and healing.