Therapy, something I’ve participated in since early adolescents. Over the course of my short life, I’ve had relationships with mentors, teachers, friends, coaches, etc. However, there is a unique dynamic when it comes to a relationship with a therapist. Why? I’m not sure, but all I know is that it works for me and I am here to share some tips on how to make it [possibly] work for you.

  1. Do It Now!

    – Relieved pain from a broken arm is best when it comes sooner rather than later, which is the same with mental instability. A broken arm doesn’t mean one is permanently handicapped and grieving a loss does not mean one is permanently depressed.
    However, therapy may be the remedy to speed up that healing process. 

    – I decided I no longer wanted to hold on to the pain, confusion, frustration, and division that manifest in my self sabotaging behaviors.

    – I do not want to be in my forties experiencing  recidivism through programs, on avoidable medications, and receiving outpatient services as a result of shunning the emotions of childhood trauma and the growing pains of adulthood.

    – My twenties is a great time for me to patch up the rough spots as opposed to me waiting until I’m in my forties, married, with children and passing my poor behaviors to them.
    I’m breaking the cycle now.

  2. Shop Around

    – Shopping for a therapist is like shopping for the right pair of shoes; I have flat, narrow feet, with falling arches…. so, yes, it can be pretty challenging.

    – All great relationships are created, including the one between the client and therapist. So, don’t feel bad if it doesn’t work, just request a different one, it’s your right.

    – Just like there is a lid to every pot, there is a therapist out there wait for you to be on their caseload so that they can help change your life! [ or so you can possibly change theirs!]

    Artist: Linda Edelstein-

  3. Be Crystal Clear

    – When I am transparent I get my best results.

    Therapy doesn’t work unless you do. You get out what you put in. It is uncomfortable bringing to light the things that shame me and the behaviors I am not proud of, but if I am not honest with myself, the support and suggestions that I  receive will not help me.

    In order for me to receive the correct remedy I must provide all the right symptoms. 

    – I am open about what I need in order for my therapy sessions to be healing experiences. Sometimes this includes telling the therapist what to do and what not to do. Not all techniques are effective.
    Don’t forget, it’s a relationship- they are learning you just as you are learning them.

  4. Laugh A Little

    – Most of the time, it ain’t that serious.

    – Although I have sessions in which half of them I cry in, I also have those sessions when laughter is the best remedy for that particular concern in which I present in session/group.

    I share the things that make me smile. There is more to me other than my mental health status.

  5. Don’t Talk About It, Be About It!

    – Take Action !

    – I currently receive individual therapy in addition to group therapy and the most effective thing for me right now is when one of the therapists suggest I use a skill and I go home and actually try it. I then return and share my experience on whether it was an effective or ineffective remedy for the stress inducing situation. I call the troubleshooting.

    – Taking action makes me feel as though I am fully invested in the therapeutic process. My therapist is my trainer and he is trying to whip me into shape for this marathon called life; and as the trainee, I have to put forth real effort and work to see overall results.

    Although, my experiences with mental health professionals have not all been great and pleasant, it has helped me identify what works for me and what does not.
    What pointers do you have for those who are either interested in going to a therapist or currently are in therapy and are feeling as though it is not working?

    “Following another’s path leads to who they are, not to who you are.”
    Harry Palmer

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