Therapy can allow you to be your best self. It can help you overcome your fears, deal with your anger, and even resolve deep relational problems. Succeeding in therapy requires hard work and perseverance, but finding the right therapist and being proactive in your treatment can put you on the road to success. Here are four things that patients can do to ensure a productive therapeutic experience:
1. Ask family members and friends for therapist recommendations.
There are many ways to find a therapist. Some people find their therapists through online databases. However, if you know friends or family members that attend therapy, you can ask them for recommendations. People with firsthand experience with therapists can share anecdotes about their therapist's style. Someone in your life may be able to recommend a therapist that you'd feel comfortable with.
2. Try different styles of therapy.
There are different types of therapy available, and some therapists are well-versed in more than one. Cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on restructuring negative thought patterns to dispel irrational anxieties and depressive spirals. Meanwhile, psychodynamic therapy is a modality that focuses on the influence that past experiences have on present issues. Finding the type of therapy that's right for you may take some trial and error. You can ask your therapist to experiment with different modalities until you find one that is helpful to you.
3. Don't be afraid to delve deep.
During therapy, patients and therapists have many conversations about life, relationships, work, and feelings. Unlike other relationships, where polite conversations often only scratch the surface, therapy is a place for deep conversations and introspection. Don't be afraid to open up to your therapist and share personal thoughts and feelings. It's natural to want to hold back at first, especially when you're still developing trust with your therapist. Eventually, however, you should feel comfortable enough to share your innermost thoughts and feelings. When you're able to be completely open and honest with your therapist, you'll be able to make great strides forward in your treatment.
4. Advocate for yourself.
Finally, don't be afraid to advocate for yourself. Therapists can be great resources to help people build their mental health. However, therapists are still human, and they may occasionally say or do things that hurt their clients' feelings. If you ever feel unheard or misunderstood in therapy, don't be afraid to speak up and say so. This will give your therapist the opportunity to apologize or explain their actions.
Contact a local therapy service, such as Reset Counseling & Wellness, to learn more.