Getting the most out of therapy | HMA

Getting the most out of therapy

Book cover

It is easy for us in the helping professions to forget what it is like for  people coming to therapy for the first time. I have always believed in the courage it takes to be open with strangers to explore, the often uncomfortable and unpleasant, aspects of our lives.

For many people coming to therapy for the first time, is a frightening experience. I certainly know the feeling of being utter exposed as I sat describing my own issues while in therapy. While as therapist’s we get ourselves ready for the encounter in our own thoughtful way, how ready is the client to join us in the exploration that is going to take place.

A colleague, Tim Kilgour, suggested that I read a short publication that he put together for this very reason. How to Make the Most out of Your Therapy: A Guide for Clients receiving Talking Therapies from Psychologists, Counsellors and other Mental Health Professionals is an easy to read guide about how to make the most of your psychotherapy. It is designed for clients who are planning to enter into a talking-based therapy with a mental health professional (e.g. psychologist, counsellor, social worker or other professional therapist).

It outlines some ideas to help prepare for the therapeutic experience such as:

  • outlining what the client may typically expect in early sessions
  • describing aspects of the therapeutic relationship
  • exploring helpful (and not so helpful) attitudes that a client may bring to enhance their progress
  • exploring the purpose of homework
  • explaining the value of others in the therapeutic setting
  • describing the closing stage of treatment
  • and gives tips on how to cope if therapy may go wrong.

This text is designed to give the client a “head start” in being able to form a therapeutic relationship to increase the likelihood of  having a useful experience so that they can make the most of their “treatment dollar”.

At US$3.99 on Kindle, this short and helpful read is well worth the investment. It is the sort of resource that clients would benefit before they come and sit in the room with people like us. You can check out a copy on Amazon.


Published on Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012, under Practice tips and techniques

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