6 Tips to Get the Most Out of Therapy

The ability to work with a mental health expert is becoming more accessible due to the availability of telehealth. Here are six tips to getting the most out of therapy you may want to share.


Working with a psychologist, therapist, or other mental health professional can be life-changing for those suffering from a mental illness. But you don’t need to be diagnosed with a disorder to benefit from therapy. Therapy allows you to be heard. It’s a safe place to explore your thoughts, feelings, and patterns of behavior.


The ability to work with a mental health expert is becoming more accessible due to the availability of telehealth. Here are six tips to getting the most out of therapy you may want to share.


1. Find the Therapist That’s the Right Fit for You


Not every mental healthcare provider will be a good fit. Therapists have varied training, specialize in different types of mental illness and may favor some techniques over others.

Start by clearly identifying what you are seeking help for. For example, if you’re struggling with anxiety, you may find a therapist who regularly treats anxiety a better fit than one specializing in substance abuse.


You also want to consider what type of sessions you prefer—in-office, at home or online. You may even have the option to have some of your sessions in-office and others online.


2. Set Realistic Goals


Often we compare ourselves to others. If you suffer from depression, for example, it’s not realistic to expect to become the life of the party by the end of the month. Your therapist will work with you to set specific, realistic goals.


3. Be Honest


Know that when you’re in a therapy session, you’re in a safe place. You’re free to talk about your thoughts and feelings without judgment.


Being honest with your therapist and yourself allows you to heal and grow. The more you can reveal to your therapist, the better equipped they are to help you get the results you’re looking for.


4. Keep a Journal


During your therapy, you may discover new things about yourself. It can be helpful to write down these discoveries and the feelings that come with them. Writing notes about your healing journey, what you learn in your sessions and any suggestions your therapist has given you can be a helpful tool, moving you closer to your goals.


5. Make Therapy Your Priority


As the saying goes, “practice makes perfect.” Therapy isn’t easy, and results aren’t automatic. You have to show up, and you have to do the work. Schedule regular appointments and don’t let life interfere. Always keep in mind why you are seeking therapy and what you want to achieve. Missing appointments will likely delay your progress.


6. Be patient


Therapy is an investment in yourself. Just like a financial investment, results don’t happen overnight. It takes time to grow. Your progress may be slow at times, and it may even seem that you’re not making any progress at all. But be patient with yourself and your therapist. If you have concerns about your progress, talk with your therapist about it.

Regardless of your reason for seeking therapy, working with a mental healthcare professional can have meaningful and lasting benefits.