How Can You Get the Most Out of Each Therapy Session?

the doctor examines the patient
the doctor examines the patient

Attending therapy can help you overcome distressing memories and heal from mistakes made in more recent times. For therapy to be effective, you have to acknowledge that you have the power to make a positive transformation. Therapy can help you get back on your feet if you put in the effort and allow your therapist to guide you.

Taking Responsibility in Recovery

Therapy is a staple ingredient in any treatment program, whether you are healing from childhood trauma, an opioid addiction, or learning to manage your social anxiety. Like other aspects of treatment, you must play an active and primary role in treatment and recovery to improve the quality of your life.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) explains that recovery from mental health and addiction is “[a] process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.” SAMSHA views self-determination and self-direction as the foundation for recovery. This means that you get to define your recovery and life goals and choose the path you’ll take to get there.

This does not mean you are alone or should be expected to take this journey alone. However, it does mean that you must take the steps needed to undergo a life-changing transformation. Therapists help guide you in building up your strengths while working on your weaknesses. They also encourage and facilitate the growth of personal autonomy and independence. This can be an empowering process that’ll enable you to make informed and confident decisions regarding your health and well-being inside and outside of the treatment facility.

Finding the Right Therapist

You will need to find a therapist that you like to get the most out of the process. Settling for whoever is most convenient or available may not produce the results you hope for. When looking for a therapist, inquire about their area of expertise or licensure and how long they’ve been practicing.

Some therapists concentrate on trauma and specific mental conditions, while others are more adept at treating clients with a history of substance abuse or marital problems. Others are trained in multiple areas and are qualified to treat all types of patients.

Next, consider the therapeutic modalities that will be available to you at the facility. At Casa Recovery, the therapeutic staff is highly trained in a diversity of therapies, including:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical-behavioral therapy (DBT)
  • Motivational interviewing (MI)
  • Family behavioral therapy
  • Acceptance & commitment therapy (ACT)
  • Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy
  • Trauma-focused therapy
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)

You might not know exactly what you need right now, but finding a facility that has high-quality options and highly-trained clinicians is critical. If you can’t find enough information on the facility’s website, or you have questions about what is offered, don’t hesitate to request a phone consultation. This is an acceptable and common practice to assess your compatibility with a therapist before scheduling a session.

Making Therapy Work for You

Some individuals hold the fictitious belief that if they just show up for therapy, everything will work out. While showing up is the first step in the right direction, there are other steps you must take to attain the benefits of therapy. Still, others might think that their therapist will solve all their problems or have all the answers. This is not the case either.

To get the most out of therapy, you need to remember what SAMSHA’s definition of recovery implies: you have personal responsibility for your own recovery. Therapy is a team activity between you and a trained professional. As much as they may know, they can only help you if you are willing to be vulnerable and trust them.

Admitting your mistakes or memories can conjure feelings of depression, anxiety, shame, or guilt. Although this can be extremely uncomfortable, full transparency and honesty are necessary to help the therapist help guide you to find your own answers. Here are additional tips to get the most out of your session:

  • Set goals that you will work on meeting between sessions.
  • Apply what you learned outside of therapy and take note of difficulties experienced.
  • Schedule sessions at a time of day when you’ll have the most mental and emotional energy.
  • Therapy is your safe space. You don’t need to share with others what was discussed if you’re not comfortable.

Don’t Let the Process Overwhelm You

Knowing that your recovery is in your own hands may be scary, empowering, or both. While you have a big role to play, it may be comforting to know that you are not alone in this process. In fact, social support from family, friends, support groups, and therapists is a substantial and necessary part of recovering. According to SAMSHA, recovery is also “supported through relationship[s] and social networks.” If you’re interested in therapy, find a facility you like and give them a call.

Therapy is a necessary part of any program to treat trauma, mental health conditions, and addiction to drugs or alcohol. To get the most out of therapy, you need to recognize your responsibility in being an active participant in the process. By allowing yourself to be vulnerable and trusting your therapist, you can help your therapist help you. Their job is to help guide you, not to give you all the answers. Casa Recovery is an alcohol and drug rehab center and a mental health and mood disorder treatment center in Orange County, CA. We treat a range of conditions and offer an assortment of therapeutic modalities. Our therapists are diverse in their duration of practice, professional and personal experiences, licensure, interests, and beliefs. We have something to offer everybody. If you’re looking for a therapist, call Casa Recovery for more information at (888) 928-2272. We are happy to schedule a consultation.

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