(this is a guest post, picture is mine)
Talking to a therapist is tricky for a lot of people, as they’re not accustomed to opening up about their feelings. If you’re paying for therapy sessions and want to get more out of them, then these are our helpful hints on how best to communicate.
Bring a Journal
Over the time between therapy sessions, you’re experiencing a lot and may forget certain things by the next appointment. This means you could be missing out on connections between your overall mood and what’s happening in your life. A journal can be really handy to keep track of everything then you can bring it along and talk it out.
Try to condense your week into a few key thoughts and experiences, which you can share with your therapist.
Find the Right Therapist
Not every therapist will be right for you, as we all respond differently to different kinds of people. While a therapist might be highly regarded, they might not work well with you and you might not find them to be effective. Don’t be afraid to work with a few different therapists initially to figure out the kind of one that you respond to.
You can get a free online therapy session to start you off on your journey to find the perfect therapist. If you go through a few therapists this way, write down characteristics that you liked and didn’t like about each one. Then, next time you search you know exactly what you’re looking for.
Visualise your Problems
Thinking about your problems and visualising them while you talk will allow you to explain how you’re feeling more fully. Don’t worry about how you sound, as your therapist is trained to get to the heart of what you’re saying. Shyer patients may worry about their speech and what they’re saying, but you can just pretend that you’re talking to yourself if that helps.
Some therapists will start more of a dialogue if they feel their patients are uncomfortable. This becomes more of a conversation and can make you feel more at ease talking about yourself.
Practice over Time
Just by seeing your therapist more often and getting accustomed to talking with them, you’ll find that speaking about your feelings becomes easier. You’ll be able to speak more freely and feel less self-conscious as time goes on, as this is a natural route for more confidence.
As you progress through your meetings, your therapist may come to question you more to get more out of you. This can make it feel like talking is becoming more difficult, as you’re exploring deeper issues in your session. Don’t be discouraged if this is the case, as the harder subject matter is bound to set you back a bit.
Overall, therapy is a hugely beneficial exercise for most people, so be sure to make the most of it. Opening up doesn’t come naturally to many of us, so prepare and practice to get your feelings out there – your therapist will thank you for it.
Thanks for reading,