Sometimes, you’re not going to enjoy therapy...
There will be days when you’re tired of admitting that you’re struggling, tired of being a ‘person in therapy’, and you’ll just want to sack it off and do something fun, ‘normal’. Push through the discomfort these are some of the times the breakthroughs occur!
You don’t have to stick with the first therapist you meet...
Our first session is not a life-long commitment, so try not to put lots of pressure on it to go perfectly – or to stick with it if it isn’t a good fit. Therapy is all about the relationship
Think about your goals for therapy...
Don’t worry if you don’t know for sure, my job is to work with you to figure them out. From dealing with anxiety, wanting direction in your life to exploring your identity and your place in the world, everyone’s goals will be different – there is no ‘right’ reason to go to therapy
You won’t have a cinematic breakthrough in every session...
Huge epiphanies are rare, therapy is more about little steps towards a deeper understanding of yourself and your internal and external worlds. Plus, the knot that developed in your childhood requires some untangling – give yourself some time
There will be times that you will not like your therapist
Even the best therapist will annoy you. Therapists will tell you things you don’t want to hear and challenge you to reflect on less-than-flattering things about yourself. This may result in you mistaking not liking your therapist with not liking the things they are saying. These times your defences will be standing to attention and by me pointing them out you will begin to recognise them yourself
Therapy is a place to practice real life
You can use the space to try out more challenging forms of communication, like standing up for yourself, arguing, apologising, or being vulnerable. Challenge your therapist. Practice for real life situations like breaking up with a friend, asking for a raise, admitting your faults out loud or voicing anger
You can ask your therapist anything
You’re allowed to ask whatever you want. You might not get a straight answer and I might do the therapist thing of saying “interesting question, why do you think you’ve asked this?” – don’t let this stop you, ask away!
Journaling post session is a good way the most out of therapy
A lot of the work happens outside of the therapy room. To get the most out of the work, take notes after the session. Write a summary of what you covered, what things were hard to talk about, lessons or things to remember and things you forgot to bring up or would like to revisit the next time
You don’t have to be unwell to start therapy
Therapy doesn’t always have to be a reaction to illness, but instead it can an active engagement in wellness. Prevention is much easier than reaction, being in therapy will give you tools to better your relationships and better deal with challenges when they come up
It’s okay to write down what you want to talk about
A therapeutic hour (50 minutes) can be over in a flash and although the here and now in the therapy room is incredibly important, when you’re already feeling nervous and unsure of what to say in your early sessions – it’s okay to have a list of things you want to cover. You might not cover it all, but structure can help
You will benefit from clearing time around your session
Pop your phone on silent, tell anyone who may need to contact you that you’ll be out of contact for a bit. You may find you need some time afterwards to decompress. Even half an hour can help
Expect to talk about your history
Each of our childhoods, wherever they sit on the scale between traumatic or warm, leave us with no other option but to be beautifully complex in adulthood. Understanding responses to something that happened in the past. Expect to do some delving eventually