Therapy is a commitment. You invest your time and money into it, so you should probably make sure you get a return on your investment, right?
There are 3 things you should do to make sure you get the most out of your therapy experience.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- How to identify your purpose for going
- How to carefully research a therapist
- How to prepare yourself for each therapy session
Following these steps will help you meet your goals for therapy – and make sure you’re on the path to freedom and peace.
How to identify why you should go to therapy
Before you reach out to a therapist, you first need to identify why you want to go to counseling. Ask yourself:
- What do I need help doing?
- What do I want to accomplish?
- What issue do I feel I need help on?
The answers to these questions will help you determine what issue you want a therapist to help you resolve.
It’s important to note that you don’t need to know what kind of help you need. You don’t need to know what exactly you think will help you – that’s what your therapist is there for! All you need to do is take the first next step.
How to carefully research a therapist
After you have identified why you want to go to therapy, you can take the next steps to find a therapist who can help with your concern.
If your concern is trauma from your past, you may want to find a therapist who specializes in PTSD. If you want to talk about overwhelming thoughts, someone who specializes in anxiety could be a great fit for you. If you struggle with a healthy body image, you can likewise narrow your search to a counselor who has experience in identity issues.
This may surprise you, but the best way to find a therapist may not be Google. It may be by asking a trusted friend or family member. Someone who comes personally recommended by people who love you may be exactly what you’re looking for!
That said, googling therapists in your area is the next best way to find a compatible therapist. You can likely search by speciality. Psychology Today is an excellent resource for those looking for a local resource.
Keep in mind that many therapists are still meeting with clients remotely, so you may not need to be limited by location!
Carefully look through a possible therapist’s profile or website. Do they sound like someone you could “click” with? Do they have experience addressing your topic of concern? Trust is the foundation of every counseling relationship, so you’ll want to find someone you feel you can connect with.
Come up with a few options and reach out to each of them to find out about their availability.
How to prepare yourself for each therapy session
First, write down a few realistic goals you have for your session. Make sure to share these with your counselor. Having a clear idea about what you want from the beginning will set you up for success. Additionally, it will be easier to see if your therapist can help you get there.
Understand that healing of any kind takes time, and that’s okay! Keep in mind that the first few counseling sessions could be difficult. It’s completely natural to feel out of your element and unsure of yourself, especially if you are delving into topics that are challenging or difficult for you.
Be gentle with yourself, and make sure to extend that same kindness to your therapist. It can take time to make the kind of progress you want to see.
Remember to congratulate yourself, while you’re at it! You’re being so kind to yourself by reaching out for support, and it’s something worth celebrating!
If you’re looking for support, you can contact us here! We would love to help you on your personal journey to peace and freedom.