Deciding to start therapy is a big step, so it’s important that you get the most you can out of it. A therapist can help with many of life’s challenges, from coping with traumatic experiences and events to dealing with anxiety and depression. Here’s our guide to help you through the process, including deciding if you’re ready to start therapy and being prepared to open up in sessions.
Are you ready?
Therapy can be challenging, revealing and demanding, so you should give careful consideration to whether you’re ready to start exploring your feelings and behaviour. Are you prepared to open up about issues that are very personal or difficult to talk about? The more honest you are, the more likely you are to benefit from your therapy sessions and to experience positive change in your life.
Is your therapist the right match?
It’s important to choose a therapist you can work with and trust. The better the relationship between you and your therapist, the more you are likely to benefit from the sessions. And because therapy involves talking about sensitive issues and revealing personal thoughts and feelings, your therapist should be experienced and professionally qualified.
Consider setting goals
Decide what you want to gain from therapy. It can help to set some small, realistic goals, to help you focus on what you most want to cover. Talk to your therapist so you can both aim to reach a shared target.
Is the therapy a good fit?
Find out what type of therapy you’re receiving and what you should expect from the sessions. Is it right for you and the issues you’re seeking help with? Let your therapist know if something isn’t working because they might be able to alter the sessions to better fit in with your needs.
Be as open as you can about your emotions, thoughts and behaviour. Your therapist isn’t there to judge you but to help you, and in order to get the most out of therapy you need to learn how to trust and open up.
If your therapist uses language you don’t understand, don’t be afraid to ask what it means. Jargon often crops up among professionals, including therapists, but it’s important that you understand what is being said.
Remember that therapy is a gradual process and it can take a number of sessions before you start to see progress. The amount of time someone spends in therapy depends on the individual and the type of treatment.
Have you considered online therapy?
An alternative to traditional face-to-face therapy is online therapy, where a therapist communicates with you remotely through the internet. You can talk to them through your computer, tablet, smartphone or any other device that can connect to the web.
Help is at hand
BetterHelp is an online counselling service designed to help people who are struggling with anxiety, depression, or just need someone to talk to or give advice. It changes the way people get help with facing life’s challenges by providing convenient, discreet and affordable access to a licensed therapist. BetterHelp makes professional counselling available anytime and anywhere.
Is online therapy right for you?
While online therapy is suitable for many mental health problems, there are a few instances in which it isn’t appropriate. If you’re having thoughts of suicide, it’s crucial that you seek help in your local area immediately. Or if you have strong thoughts of hurting others, don’t delay in finding help in your community. Once the crisis has passed, online therapy could help you to deal with issues relating to your depression or anger.
**Note: This is a collaborative post.