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Natural Awakenings Tampa Florida

How to Get the Most Out of Therapy

Feb 28, 2023 01:52PM ● By Elizabeth Rice
An older woman and younger woman sitting down having a conversation.


Therapy can definitely change your life, but there are ways to get even more out of it. Therapy is an investment—of your time, your money and your emotional energy. If you find “your” therapist, you really can change your life. Therapy with the right therapist can help you to learn a lot about yourself and your life choices. It can help you better understand why you think the way you do, why you experience certain emotions and how to regulate them better, and how to cope more effectively with the challenges that life throws your way.
It is important to remember that therapy is not an off-the-shelf item, but rather highly individualized, and you may need to look in more than one place to find your ideal. Here are a few tips to finding the best help.
Finding the right therapist. They are not all alike. Everyone has their expertise, methodology and personality. It may take three to five “interviews” to find the right one. Create a short list of qualified, licensed therapists. Publications like Psychology Today have a listing for qualified “candidates” by area, and as a bonus, they all have a short blurb about themselves in their profile as well as areas on which they like to work. Questions to ask during the interviews include:

What type of therapy do you practice?
How will this therapy help me with my specific problems?
What scientific data is there to support the effectiveness of this therapy?
What will this therapy entail?
How successful has this therapy been for your other clients?
How long will this therapy need to go on to treat my particular concerns?
Be open and honest. You probably won’t be comfortable telling your therapist everything on that initial visit, but you will have to come clean as you go along. Honesty and openness will be the cornerstone of your successful therapeutic journey. Now, it may be comforting to know that law, as well as ethics, binds the therapist to keep all conversations confidential unless there is an imminent danger to one’s self or others. The more the therapist knows, the better they are able to guide the journey to a happier, healthier you.
1.     Consistency is crucial. There will be days that you don’t want to go but you have to make yourself. It is that important. Liken it to brushing teeth…it may not be something you feel like doing, but will feel better once done.
2.     Practice what you learn. The only way to get results is to put the work in. The processes that your therapist gives to you as “homework” need to be done at every opportunity. It could be a breathing exercise, journaling thoughts or stepping out of one’s comfort zone and introducing yourself to new people, places or activities.
3.     Keep a therapy journal. It can be a small notebook that you use to jot down your thoughts and ideas as the week progresses, including results of activities that you were asked to do, or more profound or additional thoughts about what you discussed at your last session to bring up at your next visit.
4.     Trust the process and the therapist. It may feel silly and challenging, but if you apply yourself and open up to your therapist, you will see results. Your therapist has had years of training and maybe even years of practice using all these processes. If you trust them, they will help guide you to the point that you can begin to see things a little more clearly and help you to make the changes to your life that you are so desperately seeking.
5.     Let them know what you think. Give your therapist plenty of feedback (see 2.) so they can make adjustments or better educate you about what is going on and what you can expect. It will make it better for you and them as you keep moving towards your goal of a happier, healthier life.
Elizabeth Rice, licensed clinical social worker, life coach and psychotherapist, concentrates in the areas of behavioral health, trauma treatment, support group facilitation, grief counseling, addiction counseling, couples counseling and personal fitness. Her ongoing education feeds her ultimate goal of expanding her abilities, proffering up opportunities to serve those individuals who seek engagement and guidance while finding solutions. Located at 6251 Park Blvd., Ste. 9, Pinellas Park. For more information and appointments, call 727-300-9382 and/or visit