How to Get the Most Out of Your Therapy Session

We all have limited time and money that we can spend in therapy - so how can we maximize the time in sessions that we have?  Therapy can be an effective and reliable tool to cultivate a state of mental and emotional well-being. Having someone objectively listen to your problems on an occasional basis can make you feel understood and help you to cultivate more self-awareness. However, in order to truly benefit from the experience of therapy one has to play an active role in order to make the best of each session.   Here are some tips to help you achieve just that:

  • Journaling: Keep a journal where you write down anything that feels significant to you such as any breakthroughs or milestones you’ve experienced during the week. Communicating this information to your therapist will make him/her more efficient at helping you to achieve your  goals.

  • Set Goals: Think about what you’d like to achieve at the end of each session. Take the initiative to reflect on issues that you’d like to discuss during the session and express your desired outcomes to your therapist beforehand.  

  • Try Not to Over Think: Try not to overanalyze your thoughts and emotions prior to the session. Instead of mulling over negative emotions rather to use the tools given to you in therapy to objectively  reflect on situations rather than allowing them to overwhelm you. This’ll help you to enter the session feeling at ease with yourself.

  • Stay Positive: Cultivate good habits to keep you in a positive state of mind. For example take a walk or go for a jog outside at least once a day. Connecting with nature or being in a calm environment can make you feel more centered and prepared for the issues to be discussed. Being calm can also help you to feel more open and vulnerable enough to make progressive breakthroughs in therapy.

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  • Be punctual and arrive on time.  This will allow you to the most out of every minute of your therapy session. 

  • Be Open: Be vulnerable and honest with your therapist during the session.  Candor can go a long way towards reaching significant breakthroughs and transformations.

Lastly, remember that you don’t need to know everything prior to the session so don’t put too much pressure on yourself or place  unnecessary expectations on the outcome. Flow with the process of the session and use these tools to keep yourself on track when you’re in the outside world. If you have activities/goals between sessions, try using these recommended techniques used in therapy to help you experience ongoing progress.

Feel like you're not getting enough out of therapy?  Tell you're therapist - explore what might be going on - and which sessions have been the most productive and why others have not been as 'breakthrough' as others.