5 Things Your Therapist Wants You To Know Before Starting Therapy
Naomi Wright is a Pyschotherapist with her own private practice in the Lake District, UK. Exclusively for the new Travelista mental health segment, she shares 5 things your therapist wants you to know before starting therapy
5 things your therapist wants you to know before starting therapy
1. It might take a few tries to find the ‘right therapist for you’
This is important to know before starting therapy. The first few interactions will give you an indication of whether you will gel with your therapist. It might be a sense of safety, trust or relatability that enables you to feel comfortable enough to begin sharing and collaborating. The reality is that you might not find this on your first few attempts, but try not to be disheartened. You can have a look by googling therapists near you or looking on directories such as the counselling directory and then contact around 3 and see how the initial contact feels for you. It can then still take time to feel safe enough with a therapist. Trust yourself to know who feels right for you. Therapists are just people after all.
2. It is normal to feel nervous before starting therapy
It takes a lot of bravery and self awareness to be reaching out to a therapist. You know that you need to talk about the hardest parts of your life and there is a vulnerability in acknowledging that. Hopefully your therapist can put you at ease but it’s normal to still feel apprehensive before most of your therapy sessions. It can be very raw and emotional. It isn’t a sign that you shouldn’t be going. If anything your nerves are proof that you are doing something courageous and important. You can do this.
3. It can be helpful to have downtime after your therapy sessions
Whilst therapy can be incredibly rewarding and helpful it can also be exhausting. Clients can feel drained after sessions so it is often helpful to schedule in quiet down time for a period after sessions or the evening of. It could just be taking 15 minutes to have a coffee alone. It can also be a good idea to plan when your sessions will be so you don’t have to immediately go into a meeting or to a social event. This isn’t always possible with your therapists availability and your schedule and that’s ok. It is about a mindful approach to the few hours or day after your sessions in order to best look after yourself. So scheduling in some self care afterwards however that looks for you.
4. Therapy alone is not a ‘fix’
I hate to break it to you! In order to get the best out of your therapy, it is the work you do between sessions that will make a big difference to your life. Even just writing down some notes and taking time to reflect on what came up for you and what you learned helps you to reach your goals. Some therapists may give you homework or challenges to try and whilst it is your choice, it is likely they are designed to support your process. It can also be helpful to prepare before sessions and think about what you’re going to bring. Sometimes this isn’t the case and going in with an open mind can lead to great work being done. Therapy is a commitment and an investment in yourself and like anything the more you put in, the more you will get out.
5. There is no set timeframe for therapy
This entirely depends on what you’re bringing to therapy to work on. However, it is not uncommon for people to attend therapy with a subject in mind and the sessions take turns down several other paths that unbeknownst to you are relevant to you and your life. This might feel unnerving but it is partly what you are paying a professional to do. They are there to observe your words, body language, patterns, tone and many things that you may not notice or deem relevant. One therapy session can often cover one small interaction that can be symbolic of so many more things that can give you life changing insight. It can be helpful to be prepared that therapy might take longer than you expected.
Not sure where to start in terms of finding a local therapist? Visit thecounselling-directory.org.uk
About the Author
Naomi Wright is a Pyschotherapist with her own private practice in the Lake District, UK. She takes a person-centered approach taking an interest in long-term work. understanding how your history has shaped you and healing your relationship with yourself. Naomi can be found on Instagram at @naomipsychotherapy. For enquiries email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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