It is no news that when people decide to come for a psychotherapy session, they are not prepared. Some people do not know what to expect or what a therapy session looks like. So, when they come for psychotherapy, they are so confused and never get straight to the point.
Research carried out states that when a first-timer comes for a psychotherapy session, it takes about two or more sessions before a mental health practitioner finds out what the challenge is. This is because most first-timers have no idea how to present their challenge.
A good blog post (like this one) on psychotherapy preparation can help people find out what's fascinating behind the scenes and what to expect from a psychotherapy session.
Psychotherapy is a treatment plan that involves talking to a mental health practitioner about the challenges one is facing. A psychotherapy session involves an individual feeling free by expressing their thoughts, actions, beliefs, etc. Psychotherapy is a safe space for people to unburden their minds.
Psychotherapy preparation means equipping your mind to talk freely during the session and also setting goals and expectations for what you want to achieve during therapy sessions. To meet your set goals for psychotherapy sessions, you will need to be focused, open your mind, and enjoy the session. A psychotherapy session lasts 45 minutes to an hour. Depending on how severe the mental condition is, some individuals can have therapy sessions for up to 3 months.
It is worth noting that psychotherapy helps in looking at what is causing your present mental health challenge. Psychotherapy looks at past conditions, like childhood traumas, and how these childhood traumas are the result of the mental health challenges people are currently facing.
Why Psychotherapy Is Important
When people come for psychotherapy, they believe their challenge will be over. Therapy sessions do take time. It is advisable to go to therapy at least once a week, and this depends on how severe your challenge is.
Do not come with the mindset that once you have a session with your therapist, everything will be alright. Instead, try to be open-minded and note that a 45-minute session will not solve your challenges. Psychotherapy is a process, and you have to be present and active in all your sessions.
Going for a psychotherapy session will also help to boost your esteem and mental well-being.
Here are the top reasons why psychotherapy is important
Aids in pinpointing your triggers: psychotherapy sessions help you identify the spark that leads to your mental health challenge. You get to point out what causes your unpleasant emotions and ways to manage them.
Learn effective coping skills: when people are going through stress or anxiety, they do not know how to cope with it. Some use alcohol; others use drugs to cope. But psychotherapy helps you learn positive coping skills that will be effective in managing your mental well-being.
Identify bad behaviours: going for regular psychotherapy sessions helps you as an individual identify bad behaviour with the aid of your therapist. Bad behaviour such as negative thoughts, eating disorders, self-harm, etc. psychotherapy sessions will also help you overcome them.
Become physically healthy: once you can manage your mental health illness through a series of psychotherapy sessions, you will also discover you can think well and make effective decisions. You will sleep and rest better too.
Improve relationships: psychotherapy helps improve communication, which in turn improves relationships. When you go for therapy sessions, you will discover your relationship with others is booming.
Reduce conflict: There will be little to no conflict with your partner, friends, and family. This is because psychotherapy helps you understand yourself and how to include conflict resolution in your daily activities.
What To Expect in Psychotherapy Session
It is no news that newbies do not know what to expect from a psychotherapy session. This is understandable because there are no set rules on how a therapy session should go. The therapist just creates the formula for how a psychotherapy session should be.
But some basic elements must be talked about during a session. And that includes a welcome note, an introduction from both client and therapist, rules that will help both the therapist and the client understand themselves, and lastly, reasons for coming to a psychotherapy session.
Once the reason has been stated, the therapist gets to ask questions as to why you are here for the session. It is better to speak freely, as you will not be judged. Also, if there are certain secrets you do not want to discuss, you should talk to your therapist.
Note that you get to talk more, and the therapist gets to listen. The therapist will be taking some notes, which she may or may not share with you after your session. If you do not want to talk much, you can ask your questions while the therapist gets to answer them, but this has to do with the reason why you are here for the therapy sessions.
The mental health practitioner will give recommendations based on the questions asked and the reply you give, which is why you have to be very truthful with everything you are saying. Remember your therapist is a human; they do not have superpowers to decipher what is happening to you if you do not express yourself and answer truthfully the questions asked.
It is up to you to take the recommendations and practice them. A psychotherapist does not force their recommendation on you. Sometimes they offer treatment plans, which they will have to follow up on to see your progress.
Furthermore, if the treatment plan is not working after lots of therapy sessions and practising what has been recommended to you, your therapist can change your treatment plan.
Tips On Preparing For Psychotherapy
Preparation makes psychotherapy very effective. It is good to have an understanding of how psychotherapy works before requesting a session. You can ask your therapist how it works or browse online; either way, you will be fully equipped.
But here are some useful tips to help you prepare
Write down how you are feeling; this way you will remember to point it out during a session.
Look for a qualified therapist, that way you will know you are in safe hands.
Look out for sessions that are within your means: if you cannot afford to pay, there are mental health sites that offer free psychotherapy sessions like counselling.
Have a goal on what you want to achieve during your session and share it with your therapist.
If you are not comfortable with a particular recommendation, speak about it.
Make sure you and your therapist have a very good rapport.
Do not be scared to change your therapist if things are not working out.
Overwhelmed During Psychotherapy
If you are overwhelmed during psychotherapy sessions, it is normal. You might feel tired or start losing focus. All these possible overwhelming factors are normal, and psychotherapists experience them with their clients from time to time.
It is better to speak up and not feel ashamed. The mental health practitioner may reschedule you or refer you to someone who can handle your case better.