February 15, 2019

Getting the Most Out of Your Therapy Sessions

Has this happened to you? You're sitting on the couch talking to your therapist. You look up at the clock and see that you've got only five minutes left. How did that happen? You've got so much more to talk about! You leave feeling frustrated that you derailed from something really important.

What to do?

Check out PsychScamp's helpful suggestions for better time management during your therapy sessions by clicking here.

I would add to PsychScamp's list a therapy tool I often suggest:

Keep a therapy notebook.

This can be any kind of bound (spiral or otherwise) paper on which to write down your important thoughts, feelings, ideas to discuss at your next therapy session, attempts at change, areas where you are struggling, questions for your therapist, the list goes on. It's especially helpful if your therapy notebook has a pocket of some sort to keep handouts and worksheets.

You can shop for a fun, fanciful notebook or, for the recyclers among us, dig up an old college or school notebook that's buried in your office or bedroom closet. Make use of all that empty paper.

The type of notebook is not important. What matters is that you have a space on which to write.

Some people like to keep the notebook by their bed. Jot down thoughts right before going to sleep. Keeping note of worries and to-do lists right before bed can be a helpful tool when struggling to overcome bouts of insomnia. Two birds with one stone?

A note about the length of your entries: Keep it short.

Lengthy, paragraphs-long or pages-long entries can be tiring, prevent you from getting enough sleep, and lead to a dread or avoidance of your notebook. Concise reminders or bullet items are often adequate for therapy material.

Some people prefer to log their thoughts into their handheld devices, smartphones, or computers, etc., rather than use a paper-and-pencil format. Electronic gadgets of this nature can work, too, but not so convenient for keeping track of the paper handouts.

Whatever you do, be an active manager of your therapy time. In many cases, the more involved you are in contributing to the agenda, the more likely you'll get your therapy needs addressed.

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