Hey, guys! We’re half way through the week, and if you’re like me, I really can’t wait till the weekend. I woke up today thinking it was Friday, only to have all of my hopes and dreams crushed in to tiny little pieces of exhaustion and disappointment. But hey, we’re almost there, right?
Okay, so today we’re going to talk about a topic I feel like really needs normalizing in everyday life: Therapy. Let me just say this: I absolutely love counseling. I think everybody should go at some point in their lives. It has drastically changed mine for the better. A lot of people seem to think seeking out therapy makes you “weak” or even “crazy”. Let me just tell you that it does not. More people than you can imagine go. Getting help and going to therapy is a really great thing, and whether you are considering therapy, just beginning therapy, or are currently invested in therapy, I wanted to share a couple of tips I’ve learned that really have helped me get the most out of my sessions and the process as a whole. I am, by no means, an expert. But here is my advice and tips!
1. Choose a therapist who is right for you. Choosing a therapist and finding the right person to talk to for you can take some time!!! This is totally normal. If you are seeing a counselor and you feel like the two of you just “don’t click”, that’s okay! You can ask the office or your doctor to refer you to a different counselor. Don’t be afraid to ask, and definitely do not stop going! This is a normal and very important thing! Take your time in figuring out the right therapist for you. It took me three counselors before I found the one that was right for me!
2. Schedule your sessions at a convenient time for YOU. I always find it helpful to schedule appointments when I know I will be invested in my session with all of my attention. This means I won’t schedule a session on a day when I’m busy or in the middle of a work day on a lunch hour. I like to give myself some time and space to reflect and process before and after my appointment. I find it helps me get the most out of my session!
3. Set goals and markers for yourself. I like to talk with my therapist and set goals and markers for myself to help me keep better track of the positive changes I am making in my life. I feel like it helps me stay motivated and invested in my therapy sessions and my wellness. These goals and markers should be discussed with your counselor, and can include anything from behavioral, social, emotional, or everyday issues!
4. Do your “homework” and educate yourself! When I began therapy, my therapist worked with my doctor to give me my personal diagnoses. It really helped me to educate myself on what I had and learn more about what is was, why I could have it, and what my treatment options were. A lot of times, my therapist will give me worksheets to complete or a book to read. You HAVE to do these things, because I promise you it really helps. Make sure you are giving your all and completing your “therapy homework”. My therapist also suggested that I keep a daily journal, which has also been a great thing to have. Listen to your therapist! He/she knows what works and you have to trust that and give it your all!
5. Set boundaries around your therapy. People are opinionated and love to gossip, whether it’s intentional or not. It’s really important to learn to set boundaries up around your therapy. This might mean choosing very wisely who you share the details of your sessions with. Setting boundaries is the key in avoiding unsolicited advice and the influence of social pressure. Keep the focus on you and your self-trust!
6. Learn to swim. When I began my therapy, I did it because I wanted advice and for my therapist to tell me what to do. This is the exact opposite of what therapy is for. Therapy is about learning the coping tools that allow you to come to your own conclusions. It’s about learning to handle your own issues in life and be confident in those choices. This realization took me one heck of a frustrating minute to figure out, but once I did, I began learning and picking up so much more in my sessions.
7. Engage and be delighted. To me, therapy was like working really hard in a game where I was the only player. But if you really engaged, are honest with your therapist, take the steps they recommend, and give it your all, it can be one of the most rewarding experiences.
8. Go to therapy for YOU. When I first started seeking out help and going to therapy, it was because someone had told me “I needed to go or else”. Or that I “needed to realize I needed help”. While I definitely don’t feel as if this is an appropriate subject matter to hold over someones head, it can definitely get to that point and it isn’t always wrong. But, once I realized I had to go to therapy for me, and not because someone else was making me feel like I had to, it completely changed how I felt about myself, my therapy, and it adjusted how I approached and what I got out of my sessions. It is so important to invest yourself in therapy because YOU want to work towards YOUR wellness. It completely changes everything for the better. Accepting and realizing that you don’t have to go through life alone and can get help is such a huge step, but it’s one that we have to do on our own and for ourselves. And trust me, you totally got this!
So, this concludes my tips for therapy and I really hope you guys found them helpful! These are all things I wish I knew when I started my sessions, so I thought I’d go ahead and share them with you all! If you have any other tips you’d like to share, feel free to include them in the comments section for myself and others to check out! And as always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask! Hope you guys have a great rest of the week, and I’ll see you back here for Friday Favorites!
Keep on, keepin’ on, my friends!