While the overall goal of therapy is 'to be happier,' you may not know exactly what that means for you. That's okay. As your therapist, I can help you clarify what's not working in your life. Once we have identified the issues you are struggling to resolve, I can help you break down your overarching goal "to be happier" into smaller, achievable goals .
To create the life you really want, you will have to prioritize your therapy and your growth. This looks different for each person, but may mean spending some of your free time differently, tolerating temporary emotional discomfort in the name of lasting change, and being open to change -- even if it's scary.
Specifically, as your therapist, I will help you clarify:
- The kind of life you want to build
- The kind of changes you want to make
- Your beliefs about the presenting problem
- The scope and impact of your presenting problem
- The skills and knowledge necessary to achieve your goals
- The "blocks" to becoming the kind of person you aspire to be
- The kind of person you aspire to be in order to build the kind of life you want
Therapy is not passive. It requires your active participation, motivation and commitment. Clients who work hard at helping themselves are more likely to experience successful outcomes in therapy.
Also, it is important to remember things often get worse in therapy before they get better. This is especially the case when exploring and resolving old hurts and family-of-origin issues. In therapy we must look within and that can be difficult at times.
During your sessions, try to:
- Give me, as your therapist, access to the real you. This means being totally honest and vulnerable.
- Tear down the walls you've built to protect yourself. Only when you stop hiding behind those walls and reveal your true thoughts and feelings can you can get honest, useful feedback.
- Give feedback. Tell me what's helpful/unhelpful, and your reactions to therapy in general.
- Providing feedback enables me to better meet your needs.
- Think critically about your sessions.
- Maximize the benefit you get from your therapy by devoting time to your growth between sessions, as well
Before every meeting, try to:
- Reflect on your goals for being in therapy
- Think about the next step you want to take to get closer to reaching your goals
Listen to Your Discomfort
Expect emotional discomfort, as it is always part of the growth process. In therapy you will take risks and try novel ways of thinking and behaving. Your growth depends upon your ability to tolerate this discomfort.
Discomfort is revealing and useful. Often it signals a problem area for you, and exploring it with me can be a catalyst for profound change.
Be Open to Change
You're entering therapy for support and guidance as you make changes in your life. Since how you've been living (thinking, behaving, etc.) is no longer working for you, it's time to take your life off of autopilot and try something new. Take the risk & you have nothing to lose.