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  • Sara

Tips for Getting the Most out of Therapy

Updated: Sep 12, 2022

More and more people are starting to turn to therapy to help them cope with various issues and concerns that they may have and this is great news! Anytime is a good time to start prioritizing your mental health. The world has felt very upside down lately and it is so great to see people considering counseling services to better their mental health when it doesn't see possible to do so on their own.

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world as we once knew it upside down. Strong emotions have surfaced, including anger, fear, sadness, grief, despair, and many others. People have had to isolate and disconnect themselves from their social supports. Children and adolescents have been distanced from peer groups and the support of their schools and parents have had to re-envision how they do work. Employers are suffering the effects of employee shortages and consumers are finding difficulty managing higher prices for gas and goods, closing stores and reduced store hours.

Obviously, these huge transitions require a need to vamp up mental health services to help people cope. Many of these services have transitioned from in-person to online in order to manage growing caseloads and serve individuals in rural areas and other populations that find it difficult to seek services. New mental health conditions are surfacing, including news addiction (formerly called FOMO) and pandemic-related PTSD. The mental community is overburdened and dealing with burnout..

If you're feeling the weight of COVID, you're certainly not alone. Now is a great time to ensure that you are minding your mind! (And your overall health in the process.) There are many different ways in which you can engage in therapy, including virtually by phone or by video or in-person. You might see your therapist weekly, more than once weekly, bi-weekly or on some other schedule that best fits your needs. There are also many therapists who have payment plan options and who work on sliding scales to help eliminate barriers to receiving help with individuals' mental health.

When you're looking to begin engaging in therapy, consider all of the above. Then, be prepared to put in some effort in order to get the most out of your treatment. While therapy is incredibly helpful and an amazing way to start to improve your health, it is also quite a bit of work. It takes effort and conscious awareness of allowing yourself to be vulnerable and open to growth. Here are a few tips on how you can make sure you are getting the most out your time with a therapist.

To start, you need to make sure you are seeing a therapist that is a right fit for you. You will want to research different therapists in your area and come up with a list of folks who might be a good fit for you. Consider if you need a therapist within your insurance network, if you would like a therapist that specializes in specific work such as trauma or relationships, and if you would rather have in person visits or virtual visits. You should consider the exact reasons why you want to engage in therapy in the first place in order to ensure you're sufficiently narrowing down your list.

Once you have found a therapist who you believe to be a good fit, make sure that you allow yourself a decent adjustment period. When starting therapy, it may take a few sessions to really see if that therapist is going to be good for you. With therapy, there tends to be a level of discomfort as you start to dive into some emotions and thoughts that you may have not had before, especially as you begin to cover topics that you haven't expressed to anyone else prior. Allow yourself to sit in those feelings for a bit before deciding you want to stop going to that provider or stop going to therapy altogether. Discomfort can be a natural part of the therapeutic process because discomfort is a natural part of change. Change is rarely comfortable for anyone. If you're feeling a bit uneasy it is actually more likely a sign that the treatment is working.

Finally, it is super important that you show up feeling present and ready to be open during your sessions. If you are closed off and unwilling to participate, you won't be able to get the most out of your sessions. On the contrary, if you're able to express yourself without reservation and are willing to take in what your therapist is offering, this is a great way to maximize the experience.

Although you may need some time to warm up to the concept and feel comfortable sharing your thoughts with your therapist, try to focus on at least being okay with the idea of forming that connection and developing that trust. Remember, therapy is going to be hard work, but it can be incredibly rewarding!


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