Welcome to Sage Wellness! We are so delighted you have made it here. We are committed to creating a positive and transformative experience with you. Here are some ways to help you get the most out of therapy.
1. Allow yourself to be open.
Therapy is a judgment-free space for you to show up and be yourself. You will find you feel more comfortable as time goes on, but encourage yourself to be as authentic and uncensored as you can be. Your therapist will never push you to disclose more than you feel ready, though will invite you to share. Know that you are completely in control over what and when you discuss things. However, expressing yourself honestly and vulnerably allows more progress to be made.
It takes time and experimentation to identify which problem-solving strategies or coping skills work most effectively for you. You are encouraged to practice what you discuss in session, throughout the week. Just like exercise, consistent practice helps new skills to become easier and more helpful.
3. Prepare for each session.
Journal or take notes in your phone about things you want to remember to share in session. This often includes paying attention to troubling thoughts, strong emotions, or upsetting situations and recording these. This helps you utilize your time in session, and provides your therapist with important information about how you are doing. You are also encouraged to spend time after each session recording insights that you want to remember.
4. Prioritize therapy.
Commit to yourself to attend regularly when you start. This includes prioritizing each session and arriving on time. You deserve to have time set aside just for you! Therapy is an investment and a gift to yourself, and to your future. This commitment will help with your growth, self-understanding and healing. With time, you and your therapist will space sessions out so you have further time to continue practicing and gaining confidence with these new skills and insights on your own.
5. Give feedback to your therapist.
Therapy is a collaborative experience, so it takes work from you and your therapist. Your therapist wants every session to be helpful! However, they are not a mind reader. They are counting on you to share when something in session feels helpful, unhelpful, etc. This may include providing feedback about a skill you discussed, a comment they made, etc. While it can feel scary to do so, know the feedback is welcomed and gives your therapist an opportunity to make changes to improve your experience. This also gives you a safe space to practice having hard conversations so that when you do that with others in your life, you’ll feel more comfortable and confident doing so.
6. Have patience with yourself.
At times you may experience immediate results, but often you will find it takes practice and patience for change to occur. Remember, the patterns or symptoms that brought you to counseling may have been in place for months or years. Therapy can sometimes feel like you are cleaning out an infected wound. It may be momentarily painful, but it can bring incredible healing and peace. Give yourself time after each session to decompress and be gentle to yourself. You have probably expended a lot of emotional and physical energy in that session. Expect for some sessions to feel cathartic and others challenging. Trust the process and know that positive change can and will occur.
Written by: Sasha Larson, M.Ed., Ed.S. and Jennifer Martin, Ph.D.