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Therapy Success Tips


What’s important in choosing a therapist? Is homework in therapy normal? How much work goes into therapy? In this post Zac Berg offers a few tips in helping you choose your therapist and how to get the most out of your therapy sessions.


Tip #1 Finding the right therapist for you

Finding a therapist is like finding pants that fit. When shopping for the perfect pair you want to make sure that it fits just right. Ask yourself is this someone that I feel safe with, comfortable and able to work with. Like pants find a therapist that suits your style. As well, each therapist has a different style, techniques and training. It's a good idea to ask about these areas before investing your time and energy.


Tip #2 Know your schedule

Scheduling is important. For better or for worse we are a schedule driven society. Make sure you have enough time for your session. This includes getting to your appointment on time. Will it be a more intense and draining hour? Plan accordingly. Therapy can be draining and difficult. You may want to take some time for yourself following the appointment. Some people want to schedule it at the end of their day when they have time to rest and process. Also show up to your appointment on time. Generally, Therapists schedule a 50-minute session. If you're showing up late, you have less time devoted to therapy.

Tip #3: Therapy takes work

Therapy is an active process which requires effort on your part. Your therapist isn't going to do all the work. Imagine you are trying to grow a garden. Garden’s require care and attention. It’s important to water, ensure sunlight, fertilize, remove weeds and work to protect your garden from anything that wants what your growing. Whether in therapy or in life, anything worthwhile takes hard work and effort. Putting that effort and work in therapy results of your hard work is change.

Tip #4: Direction

It’s hard to get anywhere in a canoe without a paddle. Rather than letting the current take you where it wants to go, work with your therapist to work on where you want to go. Occasionally the goal isn’t clear. If this happens talk your therapist. If it’s helpful, go back to the reason why you came to therapy in the first place, talk about what you want your life to look like after therapy is done. If you know where you want to go, together you can discover the best way of getting there.


Tip #5: Do your Homework

Remember being in school and having to do homework? Maybe you are still in school. Therapy will often involve doing work outside of the sessions. This is because most of the change happens outside of therapy. Therapy sessions are about 50 minutes. You are outside of therapy a lot longer. Homework should be a collaboration between you and your therapist. If the homework is not relevant to your goals, is too difficult or is too easy chances are you won’t do it. Homework could be reflecting on your session, make a meal plan or facing your fears.


Tip #6: Be honest

It can be very hard, to be honest to someone you know well and even more difficult with someone you just met. However, their job is to help you through change. The more honest you are with your therapist, the better your therapist can understand your needs, how you are progressing and adjust the course of therapy if needed. One note is that if you are finding it hard to be honest, reflect on reasons this might be. You may not be ready to speak on that issue or feel comfortable discussing it.

Tip #7: Manage your expectations

Therapy isn’t necessarily a simple, quick and easy process. Sessions can be intense, emotional and uncomfortable at times. Other instances, they can be straight forward, and feel relatively easy. It’s like trying anything new. There may be moments of difficulty and you may be stretched, however, at the end of the day the purpose of therapy is to help you grow and change. Change can be painful and uncomfortable. The end result is overcoming the hurts, hurdles and hang-ups that brought you in to therapy.


This isn't an exhaustive list, but hopefully these tips will help you get the most out of your therapy sessions. For more information or to book an appointment, contact us here or email Zac berg at zberg@newgrowthpschology.ca

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