How can I get the best out of therapy?

Getting the most out of therapy can sometimes feel difficult, sometimes you may be offered a type of therapy that doesn’t feel exactly right for you, or worry that you’ve not been offered enough sessions to make a difference. But there are positive steps you can take to get the most out of any therapy you’re offered:

Make sure talking therapy is the right choice for you just now. It could help to ask yourself beforehand:

  • Am I ready to explore my feelings and behaviour?

  • Do I feel able to open up about things that are very personal or hard to talk about?

  • Is there anything else I need to get help with first? (such as housing or money worries).

  • Decide what you want to achieve from therapy. It can help to set some small goals which you feel are achievable. Discuss this with your therapist so you can both aim to reach a shared goal.

Understand the type of therapy you’re getting. Ask your therapist how they think this kind of therapy can help you, and what to expect from it. If they use terms you don’t understand, ask them to explain.

Talk about what’s most important to you.

Tell your therapist what’s working for you and what isn’t. They might be able to change their approach so that they suit you better.

Make sure the room feels more comfortable and safe. For example, you could ask to change where you sit, or adjust the lighting or the temperature of the room so you feel more relaxed.

Have a plan about what you will do after your session, perhaps meet with a trusted friend, go for a walk or do something you find soothing. It’s important to take this time out for yourself to help process your session.