The decision to go and see a clinical psychologist for any kind of therapy or treatment is a big and potentially life-changing one. Therefore, when you do so, you want to ensure that you get the most out of the experience. For those who have never engaged with the world of professional psychology and therapy before, it can feel quite daunting to choose from among the many practitioners out there. Below is our guide to help you get everything that you need from the process:
1. Take Your Time to Find the Best-Possible Fit
Finding a psychologist isn’t like finding a grocer or a mechanic. Their knowledge and experience is one thing, but it’s not a guarantee that they’ll fit well for your needs. One good sign among psychologists is when practitioners make a point of sharing their own ongoing training and development, such as those who would attend professional clinical psychology training in Sydney.
Those who would presume that they already have all the answers and have no need for such training are perhaps not a great fit and won’t offer you the best-possible experience. The field is always evolving, and the good practitioners know how to keep up with it.
2. Create Specific and Realistic Goals with Your Therapist
What is it that you most hope to achieve with your therapist in these sessions? In order to get the best results, it’s important at the beginning of the process to create goals that you want to accomplish. If you have ideas in mind, you should write them down and take them with you to your first session and talk about them with your therapist. They will hopefully help you either confirm them as solid, realistic and achievable, or at least help you hone them into ones that are.
3. Be Honest
Therapy will never work for you if you refuse to be honest with either yourself or your therapist. The process requires a tremendous amount of honesty, self-reflection, and a willingness to set aside delusion, denial and other deceptions that we may have indulged in for years running up to that point. Very often, it’s those falsehoods that have created the need for us to go through therapy in the first place. The process requires total honesty, even if that means brutal honesty.
4. Keep a Journal
Many people find that they can get more out of their sessions if they keep an emotional journal that tracks their feelings day to day. This is especially useful if you’re seeing a therapist only once a week or even less frequently. If you have a session each Friday, for instance, it can be hard to make true recollections of feelings earlier in the week.
A journal can help give you better and clearer insight into exactly how you were feeling at any particular moment. These can help you when it comes to your own reflection, too, helping you look back on your past days and weeks and see just how far you’ve come.
5. Attend All Sessions
It’s tempting at times to make excuses and try to avoid going to your therapy sessions. The fact is, however, that if you want to really benefit from the sessions, then you have to be ready to attend all of them. It’s a process that you’re undergoing, and skipping sessions is an interruption to that process that ultimately only serves to slow it down.
6. Don’t Expect Miraculous Results
Finally, don’t think that whatever problems you’re dealing with will be solved with just one or two sessions. Some people get notions from TV and movies that therapy can result in breakthrough moments in mere minutes. This isn’t the reality. Therapy takes time, effort and work. You need to be ready to show patience and perseverance to get the results that you want and need.