Going to therapy can be very beneficial. It is a place where you can learn more about yourself; understand the symptoms of mental health you are experiencing; receive advice and support to help achieve your goals, and work on forming more meaningful relationships. It is a place for someone who needs someone to listen or needs to process major life events and so much more.
However, going to therapy, especially for the first time, can be a daunting task for many. If you want to get the most out of your therapy sessions, here some suggestions.
5 questions you can ask your therapist:
What kind of therapy do you offer?
- This will help you learn more about their area of expertise, what specific treatment interventions they use and what their style and therapy background looks like.
How will I know we’re a good fit?
- It might seem awkward at first but it is OK to be straightforward and ask your therapist if they think you’re a good fit for each other and whether they think they can help you. If your therapist refers you to another therapist, this isn’t a bad sign. In fact, they are likely ensuring you get the right person to best serve you.
What should I work on this week?
- You might want to ask for homework or assignments to work on throughout the week, whether it’s a book to read or just some general introspection to engage in. Asking for homework outside of the office can help you increase your knowledge, as well as be a catalyst to increasing the rate of change.
How do you think I’m doing?
- After you’ve been to about 3 or 4 sessions, go ahead and ask your therapist how they think you’re doing. This will give you both a chance to reflect on what you’ve talked about so far and any progress you’ve gained. It’s also a great way to spotlight any patterns that keep showing up. Knowing the repeat issues helps to initiate a course correction in therapy or a deeper dive into unresolved issues, which is important to get the most out of sessions.
Can I be honest about how I’m feeling?
- Therapists are humans too and may not always say the right thing. If you feel like something is off, let them know. Don’t wait until you’re dreading going to therapy. A good therapist will appreciate your honesty and feedback. It might be difficult but being honest in this way can even make for better therapy sessions. Not only will this empower you, but it will propel the therapeutic relationship forward by building trust and understanding. The number one factor of any positive therapist outcome is just that—the connection with your therapist.
About Grace Kim:
Grace Kim is a Resident in Counseling providing services at the Woodbridge location. She is a Qualified Mental Health Professional for Children (QMHP-C) and a National Certified Counselor (NCC). Grace has extensive experience in providing outpatient counseling services to children, adolescents, and young adults. She also has sufficient experience working with adult clients with longstanding substance abuse issues. She is an individual who has had her own share of mental health challenges and, with the help of those around her, has been able to overcome obstacles and barriers in her life. To learn more about Grace, visit HERE.