As we mentioned in last week’s post, there are many ways to find a reasonable fee that both you and your therapist can afford. However, once the fee is discussed and settled upon, there is still the issue of getting the most out of what you paid for. See the below three ways to maximize your time in therapy and get what you paid for:
- Be on time. It sounds silly, but many clients will show up five or ten minutes late to their sessions. Keep in mind, though, that your therapist most likely has another client after you, so he or she cannot give you extra time at the end.
- Say EVERYTHING on your mind. Therapists are trained to be good listeners. But what does this really mean? It means paying attention, asking questions when you do not understand, listening to more than just the words, and being non-judgmental. Judgment, in particular, has a way of ending genuine conversation. In the interaction with your therapist, keep this in mind. For many people, a therapist is the only nonjudgmental ear they have. Therefore, feel free to say everything that pops into your head, even if it involves negative thoughts about the therapist. Only by saying EVERYTHING that comes into your mind, can you and your therapist begin understanding how your mind works.
- Don’t plan beforehand. The best therapeutic sessions are when you do, in fact, say everything that comes to your mind. Planning what you are going to say beforehand has a way of making the conversation unspontaneous and stilted; it places you between saying what you came to say versus saying what is just now coming into your head. While it is only natural to have conversations with your therapist in your head throughout the week, don’t burden yourself with an agenda for the therapy hour in an attempt to make the most of your time—unfortunately, you will do just the opposite.
For the next three ways to get the most out of your therapy, tune into next week’s post!