How do you get the most out of therapy sessions?

therapy session

Therapy is certainly the most common treatment for various mental health issues, and there are copious to choose from. For example, there are psychodynamic approaches, whereby the unconscious mind and psyche are the main focus. Alternatively there are more contemporary approaches such as art therapy, which utilities creativity as a form of expression and reflection.

The most commonly used therapy today are those that take a cognitive and behavioural approach. Their general aim is to adjust maladaptive thinking and behaviour patterns to ultimately improve mental wellbeing. There is also counselling that has been shown to be particularly effective against depression and grief.

The question is, does therapy work for anxiety and depression? The short answer is yes, it does! Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and counselling in particular. Any treatment in medicine, be it physical or mental, requires numerous reviews to ensure it is still useful. This is especially important as frequent research is used to test, investigate and update treatment standards, including within mental health. On the NICE website, CBT and counselling are reviewed and tested frequently. They are still deemed to be one of the most successful treatments against anxiety and depressive disorders, with computerised-delivery being the current aspect of therapy under review.

Regardless of statistics and papers, how successful is therapy for the individual? And how can they get the most out of therapy session?

How do we get the most out of sessions?

Here are a few tips and tricks to help make full use of your time with your therapist/councelor:

  • Honesty. It can be quite nerve-racking to speak to a stranger about your life! It may trigger some fears around being judged. However, it is important to remain as honest as possible, so they have the best chance of helping you successfully.
  • Goal-orientated approach. Try to identify what it is you want out of therapy, and set a few goals. However, sometimes it’s hard to confidently and clearly establish the issue and the goals you want to set. The therapist can and will assist you with this.
  • Practice outside of sessions. Especially with therapies such as CBT, the aim is to alter unhelpful thinking and behaviour. This, of course, will take more than a session a week. It will also mean taking what you learn in therapy, and applying and practicing this in a real-life setting outside the session. For example, during a session, you and your therapist agree that you use strategies to manage negative self-talk. After the session, it would be helpful to practise these skills.
  • Have someone near during sessions. This may be helpful for after your session. Some sessions can be difficult, and may bring up difficult thoughts and feelings. It may help ground you having a trusted friend or family member meet you after.
  • Be patient and kind to yourself. Healing takes time, effort, and sometimes the odd step back. Be kind to yourself, and give yourself the space to heal gradually. Likewise, be patient with the therapist and therapy process. It more often than not takes more than a handful of sessions before you can see progress.

What does Brighter Life Therapy provide?

Brighter Life Therapy provides fast access to CBT and counselling treatment, which you can read about here. If you are interested, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0118 40 50 108, or by emailing info@brighterlifetherapy.co.uk.

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