About to start working with a therapist? or have already started working with one?
If so, this article is for you as I go through 11 ways to make the most of your therapy sessions so you don’t waste your time (or money) in them.
Mindset is everything.
Therefore, the way you think about therapy and your attitude towards therapy is what will determine whether you make the most of it so you don’t waste your time (or money) in it.
As a result, it’s that, the mindset and attitudes that get in the way of you making the most of therapy, which I’ll be talking about in this article.
Since knowing what they are will allow you to be able to notice (and dismiss) them when they arise.
Therefore, making your therapy sessions more productive.
So let’s get started.
What is the most effective form of therapy?
The most effective form of therapy is working with an EFTMR Counselling Psychotherapist.
And different people may say different things.
But for me, it’s no doubt an EFTMR Counselling Psychotherapist because I know if it worked for me, it’ll work for others too.
So, (to be clear) the 11 tips that I’ll be sharing with you shortly are specifically catered towards you working with an EFTMR Counselling Psychotherapist.
Although, that’s not to say that these tips won’t apply to you if you’re working with a different type of therapist so will still be worth your time taking note of.
1. Quit thinking about how not to waste your time (or money) in therapy?
There are three reasons I say to quit thinking about how not to waste your time and money in therapy.
Where your attention goes matters
The first one is related to a Tony Robbins quote, which says:
Therefore, if you keep focusing on how not to waste your time or money in therapy you will actually end up wasting more time and money in it because your focus is so much on NOT doing it.
So it’s like when someone tells you not to do something and you do it because they’ve specifically told you not to do it.
And you can’t help yourself.
You create a mind-block
The second reason is that thinking about how not to waste your time and money in therapy, instead of just getting on with it and the process, acts as a mind-block to you getting what you want and making progress in therapy.
And the last but not least reason is because of a little something called confirmation bias, which is when you start looking for information that’s going to support your particular belief and viewpoint.
So often you’ll hear someone say something that confirms your belief.
Or you’ll find information on the internet that supports your belief.
As a result, you start believing it even more, even though it’s not necessarily true.
2. Don’t get hung up on setting goals for your therapy sessions
Look, I know that setting goals in every area of our lives are all the rave these days.
And it can be so tempting to want to do the same with your therapy sessions and compare what’s happening in your therapy sessions with your goals and seeing a contradiction between them.
Therefore, concluding that therapy doesn’t work.
But wanting to set goals for your therapy sessions will only set you back because therapy with an EFTMR Counselling Psychotherapist doesn’t work like that (see also: ALL YOUR QUESTIONS ABOUT THERAPY ANSWERED (AN ULTIMATE GUIDE)).
They work on the basis that your struggles and consequently the support they provide you with, are going to come up organically as part of their discussions and growing relationship with you on a week by week basis.
So as I talk more about in my article >>> HOW PSYCHOTHERAPY CAN HELP YOU TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOR THE BETTER working with an EFTMR Counselling Psychotherapist is exploratory in nature.
Therefore, you’re not going to know everything about your struggles at the beginning or even mid-way through working with your therapist as you’re going to discover them slowly, one by one, in the process of working with your therapist over time.
So it’s imperative you exercise the 3 qualities I talk about in this article here >>> 3 QUALITIES YOU NEED TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR PSYCHOTHERAPY SESSIONS
Secondly, if you’re already in therapy, you already know it’s the right option for you. There are no two ways about it, so you don’t need to set goals because how you feel is enough of a guiding system for you to know if something doesn’t feel right.
And, therefore, need to raise it with your therapist to gain more clarity over it.
3. Don’t rely on your therapist to set the focus each week
When you’re not used to making yourself a priority and asking for what you want (see also: IS YOUR LIFE FEELING OFF BALANCE? WHY YOU NEED TO MAKE YOURSELF A PRIORITY AND HOW TO DO IT) it’s hard to be the one to start off the conversations with your therapist.
Therefore, relying on and waiting for your therapist to set the focus that when they don’t, you get the hump because you believe that’s their job.
I mean they know better than you after all don’t they?
However, the more you take the reigns to set the focus the more you’ll get used to it and the more confidence you’ll build in yourself.
And the more you’ll feel it’s not a waste of your time and money.
6. Write down what you want to focus on for the week as you live out your week
To help you with setting the focus, I suggest you write down the challenges you’re experiencing in your life as you live out your week, week in week out before your therapy sessions (see also: DON’T KNOW WHAT TO TALK ABOUT IN THERAPY? HELP INSIDE).
This is because writing in itself has powerful healing benefits because it both helps you to formulate your ideas and reflect on what you’ve written, when you read and re-read it, editing it as you go along.
Then when you take a break from it and come back to it another day, you come up with more things to write about than when you first did because your mind has this uncanny way of sticking on certain points that are important for you to reflect on further.
And therefore, it helps you to come to realisations that you may never have had were you not to write down your experience.
In addition, it supports you in alleviating the worries and fears I talk about in this article here >>> CONSIDERING THERAPY? WHY YOU NEED TO IGNORE THESE 3 STRONG FEARS.
How (and where) to write it down?
I used to find this particularly useful to do as a draft in Gmail because I could write down any challenging thoughts, feelings, beliefs, events, situations and experiences that were taking place in my life during that week, but then shift and change the email as new things arose each day.
But, in saying that, if you want to use another medium that’s absolutely fine but I think typing what you want to focus on during the week in Gmail, is well worth a try.
In addition, I found doing this, incredibly useful alongside the tools I talk about in this article >>> 3 TOOLS TO GROW OUTSIDE THERAPY SESSIONS so may also be worth you trying too, to get more for your money in therapy.
4. Recognise the therapy process is a collaborative process
Following on from my points above is recognising that the therapy process is a collaborative process.
As a result, this means you can bring anything in with you in terms of what you’re thinking, feeling and believing about anything in your life and you’re not going to be judged or criticised for it.
And that includes asking questions when you don’t understand something.
Or trying to affirm or not affirm something you believe is related to your struggle, which moves nicely onto my next point.
5. Don’t Google the answers you believe are related to your struggles
It’s so easy to do this when you feel like you haven’t been given the answer you want from your therapist or if your therapist isn’t around for you to be able to ask them a question the minute it pops into your head.
But when you do this, firstly, (if you’re in the beginning stages of working with your therapist) you’re not going to believe your therapist and you’re going to believe what you’ve read instead.
Therefore, experiencing somewhat of a disconnection from your therapist.
And secondly, (once you’ve built a strong relationship with your therapist) you’ll realise anyway the answer is always invariably wrong or only part of the story because your therapist will tell you something completely different to what you’ve read.
So, it isn’t worth your time and effort looking up in the first place.
7. Allow whatever emotions arise in your therapy sessions to arise
You’re inevitably going to experience challenging emotions during your therapy sessions, which are going to make you want to run away from your problems and consider not working with a therapist anymore.
Since a great therapist won’t tell you what you want to hear but what you need to hear.
However, the key is to let whatever emotions arise and to then discuss them with your therapist either at that moment (if you’ve got time), or the week after, if that is, you still deem them as important to discuss.
As a result, allowing you to feel grateful for having someone in your life who you can be completely open and honest with so it’s really not a waste of your time and money.
8. Do the work outside your therapy sessions
You want more value for your money? You’ve got to do the work outside your therapy sessions.
And that involves implementing the tools I talk about in this article >>> 4 MIND-BLOWING TOOLS THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR WORLD AND HELP YOU TO OVERCOME PAST REGRETS and this article >>> 3 TOOLS TO GROW OUTSIDE THERAPY SESSIONS.
9. Trust in the process
When you’re so eager to make progress in therapy it’s hard to lean back, relax and trust in the process.
However, you have to find it within you to know that whenever you feel you’re not making progress in therapy, it’s not because you’re doing something wrong or because you’re not doing something you need to be doing.
It’s because you are on the right path and you need to feel the way you do in order to overcome that barrier and get to the other side of it.
So what this means for you is if you’re…
- Turning up to sessions each week for an absolute minimum of a year, although I recommend up to 5 years.
- Being open and honest with yourself about what you’re thinking, feeling and believing about yourself (see also: PART ONE: HOW TO TAKE ON RESPONSIBILITY FOR CHANGING THE OUTCOME OF YOUR LIFE?)
- Implementing the tools and practices offered to you by your therapist; and
- Allowing information your therapist is giving you to soak in
Then you’re doing your part and there’s nothing more you need to do.
10. Suspend all judgements, criticisms and excuses
Judgements, criticisms and excuses will stop you from making the most of therapy because they’ll trick you into believing you’ve heard it all somewhere else before and you’ll not learn anything new from taking part in the sessions.
As a result, preventing you and your therapist from developing an authentic relationship.
So, you might want to quit therapy sooner rather than later.
But, the success of any therapy session is dependant on the relationship built between therapists and their clients, which takes time to build.
For me personally, it took 6 months to feel comfortable with my therapist and a year to feel even more comfortable with her.
And after four years, I trusted her completely.
But, then again, I did take a year’s break in between my first and second year, so had I not done so, it might have taken less time to build the relationship to what it was in the end.
And therefore, seen the progress I have done in the last couple of years.
Since it did feel somewhat like I was starting over with her when I went back.
Hence, it is one of my biggest regrets not continuing.
Saying that too though, it’s different for different people so don’t use these timescales as any form of reference for how long it will take you to build a strong relationship with your therapist.
11. Rid needing to have something new to say each week
This is a mindset and belief, which can stop you in your tracks from making the most of therapy (as it did me), if not checked because you feel like you need to plan every minute of the conversation instead of trusting in being in the moment.
The way I see it now, however, 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 to something else, you need to explore the thing you’re stuck on in-depth.
So just trust whatever situations, thoughts and feelings arise during that particular week, that’s what you need to discuss with your therapist.
Regardless of whether they are the same as your last session(s) or not.
And, if you’re worried your therapist will get bored, don’t because they won’t get bored, they get it.
Summary: 11 ways to make the most of therapy (and not waste your time or money)
So, there you have it.
Your answer to the 11 ways you can make the most of therapy so you don’t waste your time (or money) in therapy.
Now over to you
I would love to know what you’re going to start doing differently in your therapy sessions to make the most of them so let me know in the comments section at the end of this page.
More to see on the blog…
- 6 SIGNS TO KNOW YOU ARE IN THE GOOD COMPANY OF A GREAT THERAPIST
- 3 QUALITIES YOU NEED TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR PSYCHOTHERAPY SESSIONS
- CONSIDERING THERAPY? WHY YOU NEED TO IGNORE THESE 3 STRONG FEARS
Stay in the know
Subscribe to the email newsletter below to stay in the know on how EFTMR Counselling Psychotherapy can change your life.