To not waste your time (or money) in Psychotherapy, you gotta put in the work.
So to support you, I’ve compiled a list of 5 ways you can do just that.
1. Write it down
When it comes to reaching goals, the advice is to write them down because you are 42% more likely to reach your goals.s
The exact science of why can be found in this article by Inc.com This Is the Way You Need to Write Down Your Goals for Faster Success.
And, as far as I’m concerned, the same advice goes for when preparing for each Psychotherapy session too.
The benefit in this instance, however, is you ensure you don’t forget and it also supports you in formulating your ideas.
In particular, you must write down any frustrations, thoughts, feelings and situations, which arose during the week.
You can always edit what you’ve written as you go along through the week as things shift and change.
I find this particularly useful to do in Gmail but any medium that works for you is okay to use.
In addition, it supports you in alleviating the worries and fears I talk about in my blog post Considering therapy? Why you need to ignore these three strong fears.
Morning pages, as recommended by Julia Cameron in her book The Artist’s Way: A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self also supported me with formulating my ideas.
However, for you to feel truly called to undertake morning pages it’s best to buy the book.
If you’ve not done that and you’ve only researched it on Google, you’ll not be as inclined to do the morning pages.
The reason for this is you need to know the full reasoning behind them from the authors perspective.
2. Quit thinking about how not to waste your time (or money)
Thinking this is the first way you will waste your time and money in Psychotherapy.
The reason for this is your mind has something called confirmation bias.
So, it will look for every reason and excuse in the book to prove Psychotherapy is a waste of time and/or money (exactly what you think).
And the funny thing is, it will find information to confirm what you think and believe.
However, if you do the exact opposite, you will find resources, which confirm Psychotherapy is not a waste of time and money.
So, you can’t really trust either perspective, you need to instead engage with Psychotherapy to know for yourself.
And, follow the steps I’m providing so you don’t waste your time or money.
Another way to look at these thoughts when they arise, is to see them as mind blocks.
Mind blocks, which are trying to protect you from harm, therefore, are only arising to keep you safe.
Not because you need to be kept safe from Psychotherapy because contrary to what you might think, Psychotherapists don’t seek to harm you.
But because it’s a fear-based response to a danger your ancestors faced, which was eventually passed down to you.
Therefore, they are thoughts and beliefs, which, when it comes to Psychotherapy, do not need to be listened to.
A great interview, which talks about fear is one I saw with Marie Forleo (Founder of MarieTV) and Elizabeth Gilbert (Author of Eat, Pray, Love).
Check it out here.
The reason for this is, if you’re frequently moaning and complaining about how different you wish your life was, you need therapy.
Same goes, if you keep finding yourself bitchin, moaning and complaining about certain people in your life, you need therapy.
The reason for this is at your core you are not a bitchin, moaning and complaining person.
You, I and every other human being on this planet are full of love, peace and joy.
But, these qualities are locked inside of you and so need uncovering.
Hence, the job of your Psychotherapist.
To support you in uncovering what is stopping you from being happy and reaching your full potential in every area of your life.
To support you in stripping off habits (i.e. beliefs, thoughts, opinions, feelings), which have been passed down to you.
So you can replace them with productive habits and coping strategies, which are more helpful to you.
If, however, you do give into the thoughts and beliefs, y’know what this tells me?
And, you might not like this…
But, it tells me you like bitchin, moaning and complaining about the people, places and circumstances in your life, which do not serve you.
Therefore, you are addicted (like you can be to a drug) to bitching, moaning and complaining.
And, you like people feeling sorry for you (self-pity) because it’s the only way you know how to get people’s attention.
In addition, it tells me you have two beliefs there:
- You’re not worthy of love and belonging; and
- Your identity is fixed and static so who you are now is who you’ll be for the rest of your life.
Neither of which by the way are true.
Your mind here will want to prove everything I’ve just said is wrong and you don’t fit the criteria above.
But, if you were drawn to reading this blog post, you best believe there is some truth to what I’m saying even if you can’t see it yet.
So take my advice on-board and don’t listen to your thoughts or other people, which tell you, Psychotherapy is a waste of time and money.
Do this instead…
3. Trust in the process
Lean in, relax and know you are on the right path.
Of course, you need to feel a connection to your Psychotherapist first.
For me, I felt this after the second session, although building trust took much longer than that.
Anyway, back to trusting in the process, as with anything in life, there is a process.
A process, which often doesn’t require you to…
- Turning up to sessions every week for a minimum of a year
- Being open to the insights your Psychotherapist is trying to guide you to
- Undertaking the tools and practices offered to you by your Psychotherapist
- Letting information your Psychotherapist is giving you soak in; and
- Trusting your Psychotherapist isn’t only out for the money
Don’t be huffing at the first one.
1 hour every week for 52 weeks (the number of weeks in a year) isn’t a lot at all.
Although, it might be a little less since your therapist will need time off and so will you occasionally.
And I know your thoughts have come back to the money and how much it will cost but your mind is the most powerful tool in the world.
It (and you) is worth spending the money on.
Viktor Frankl and his book Man’s Search For Meaning: The classic tribute to hope from the Holocaust is proof of that.
Also, if you really can’t afford the price they’re offering it to you for, they might be able to offer you the sessions at a lower rate.
So, check with them before you consider it pointless and rule it out.
4. Suspend all judgements, criticisms and excuses
Judgement, criticism and excuses stop us from developing meaningful connections with others.
They make you believe you’ve heard it all somewhere else before and you’ll not learn anything you don’t know.
Therefore, preventing you and your therapist from developing an authentic relationship.
So, you might want to quit Psychotherapy sooner rather than later.
But, the success of any therapy sessions is the relationship Psychotherapists form with their clients, which takes time to build.
To learn more, click here The Client – Therapist Relationship is Unique.
For me personally, it took 6 months to feel comfortable with my Psychotherapist and a year to feel even more comfortable with her.
After three years, I trust her completely.
Buut, I did take a years break in between my first and second year so had I not done so it might have taken two years.
Hence, it is one of my biggest regrets not continuing because now I feel I can say anything and don’t need to hold back.
But it’s different for different people so don’t use these timescales as any form of reference.
Head to my blog post on Successful therapy sessions, don’t occur by chance to find out the three qualities you need.
5. Rid needing to have something new to say each week
This is a mindset and belief, which can stop you in your tracks, as it did me, if not checked.
The way I see it now is many of the thoughts we have each day are the same as yesterday.
So it’s no wonder you’re not always going to have something new to say.
Also, our lives aren’t movies. There isn’t always going to be new things in our lives to discuss.
And, sometimes before you can move on you need to explore the thing you’re stuck on in-depth.
So just trust whatever situations, thoughts and feelings arise during a particular week are what you need to discuss with your therapist.
Regardless of whether they are the same as your session last week.
And, if you’re worried your therapist will get bored, don’t.
You’re paying them to listen to you remember.
If this post has given you any relief around wasting your time and money on therapy, go ahead and seek out Psychotherapy.
- Make an appointment with your GP (if based in the UK); and
- Ask your specific GP to provide you with a list of therapy practices in your area.
Overall, to not waste your time (or money) in Psychotherapy do the work.
1) Write down the situations arising in your week and the thoughts and feelings, which accompanied these.
2) Quit thinking about how not to waste your time and money because these thoughts will result in confirmation bias.
3) Trust in the process. Turn up week in week out, undertake the tools and practices and listen to the insights your therapist gives you.
4) Suspend all judgements, criticisms and excuses as this will prevent you and your therapist from building an authentic relationship.
And last, but not least, don’t think you need to have something new to say each week.
We are creatures of habit.
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