Mental health therapy can be very beneficial in improving mental well-being. It is a safe and confidential space where you can openly talk about your mental health without fear of being judged.
Mental health therapists can be incredibly helpful tools for those struggling with mental health issues. They are also available to support anyone looking to improve their life or well-being somehow. However, showing up to therapy is only half the battle. For this reason, anyone can benefit from learning more about getting the most out of therapy sessions before they begin.
This article will provide tips on how to get the most out of time with your mental health therapist to get the help you deserve. These tips include everything from how you approach the experience to what you can say to your mental health therapist.
What You Can Gain from Working with a Mental Health Therapist
When you take responsibility for your recovery, putting in the time and effort alongside a mental health therapist’s unbiased advice and guidance, therapy can become one of the best things you can do for your mental health.
There are countless benefits of working with a mental health therapist. Some of these benefits include:
- Learning how to cope with difficult emotions
- Developing better coping skills
- Understanding yourself and your thoughts and feelings better
- Gaining support during tough times
- Working through past traumatic experiences
- Getting help to make positive changes in your life
How to Get the Most Out of Working With a Mental Health Therapist
Sometimes just talking about your problems helps you see things more clearly. As simple as it would be for most therapists to advise from their outsider’s perspective, therapists don’t just listen and advise. They are trained to ask you the right questions to see and understand solutions for yourself.
That said, the key to success in therapy is wanting to be there. You may not show up feeling excited per se, but a desire to improve yourself and your life are essential. So when you are ready to not only show up to therapy but make the most of it, consider the following thoughts.
Have a goal in mind. A common mistake people make when going to therapy is not having a clear direction for where they’d like to end up.
Therapy can cover many different topics and areas of your life, so it helps to know and convey your overall goals.
Be open and honest with your therapist. A mental health therapist is trained to be a non-judgmental listener. However, this doesn’t mean they can help you if you don’t give them the information they need.
A mental health therapist is also trained to ask the right questions, but you must give them honest answers if you want your sessions to be as productive as possible.
Try to be honest with yourself. What are you taking away from each session? Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you feel unsure or uneasy about your therapist’s techniques or questions.
Do your homework between appointments. Mental health therapy doesn’t always require homework, but sometimes it can help you get the most out of your therapy sessions. Many therapists will usually assign homework after a session if they think it may help move forward with your work together.
Don’t expect overnight results. Mental health therapy is not an overnight fix, and it can take some time before you start to feel like things are improving, especially if mental illness is involved.
Your mental health therapist will always work at your own pace, and you should never feel rushed into anything if it doesn’t feel right for you.
Seek out help with specific issues. For example, if you struggle with anxiety, seek a mental health therapist specializing in anxiety treatment. This ensures you will get the most benefit from your sessions, improving your chances of reducing symptoms of mental illness.
Find a mental health therapist you trust. Trust is vital in any relationship, especially given the value of sharing details about yourself to help you progress.
Keep up the hard work! A mental health therapist is a trained professional who knows how to motivate individuals. However, this doesn’t mean they can do all the heavy lifting. Mental health therapy requires effort from both parties to be successful, so you must show up ready to work on your issues.
What to Talk About With a Mental Health Therapist
Therapists can help you get the most out of your therapy sessions. They will listen and provide advice when needed, but they cannot read your mind. Nor will a mental health therapist ever force you to say anything you’re not ready to talk about. Plus, with most types of talk therapy – unless it’s more goal-focused like CBT – your mental health therapist will act as more of a guide than a teacher.
There are several things you can talk about with your mental health therapist to get the conversation moving if you’re ever feeling stuck.
Talk about your past. Mental health therapy is all about helping people work through their life experiences to improve their mental health. In many cases, past experiences fuel present thoughts and behaviors. Finding this correlation can be tremendously helpful in rewiring a person’s outlook.
Talk about the thoughts that linger in the back of your mind. A mental health therapist is trained to listen and help you work through the thoughts causing distress or impairment in your life. Mental health therapy is also a place where people can learn how to manage their thoughts more effectively, so don’t worry if they’re negative at first – this will change over time.
Talk about what’s happening currently in your life. Talk about your work, relationships, living situation, and anything else to get the ball rolling.
Final Thoughts On Getting the Help You Deserve
Mental health therapy can become a regular and highly beneficial part of your self-care routine. Through therapy, improving your mental well-being should not be taken lightly, especially as your time and resources matter greatly.
Mental health therapy is a collaborative effort between mental health therapist and their patient. The patient brings their life experiences to the table while the therapist provides professional help, guidance, and advice when needed.
To get the help you deserve, you cannot only rely on your mental health therapist but also on yourself.