Effectiveness of Therapy

Advice by: Hank Butch
Place: Shanghai, China

How to make therapy effectively count for you?
Therapy sessions lasting for an hour couple of times a week won’t start to suddenly do wonders for you. It is you who need to put your learning from those sessions into practice in your day to day life.
a. Regularity in meals, daily exercise and a good 7 hours of sleep will start to put you in the right state of mind to treat your emotional state. This is the first step. Skipping this step will only bring you more irritability and dampen your confidence than therapy is not working.

b. As mentioned before, your therapist will carve out a way for you after consulting you. But he plays only a part in your recovery. What you contribute actively through your actions is more important.

c. Your counseling sessions aren’t just a weekly chore that you have to complete. Don’t just go there because you’ve been told to do so or just because you’ve paid for it. Endure through the resistance if you have any, but be sure to open yourself up to your therapist. At no cost should you skip your meetings with your therapist. Be committed to following the activities your therapist asks you to perform during the days between two sessions

d. Remember that your therapist can help you best only if you are completely honest and truthful about your problems with him. Drop all sort of inhibitions. Being rather open will do you more good than being closed.

Is therapy making any progress for you?
When you ask yourself this question, remember that your expectations shouldn’t seek instant results. What you definitely can answer instantly in your first couple of sessions is whether your therapist is suitable for you or he is not.

Also remember, the recovery is associated with emotional lows, moments of irritation, spurts of anger and other such negativity. What you need to answer for yourself after about a month is whether you are seeing a positive change in your overall life.

Here are some questions you can answer to test how far you have evolved:
a. Has my life seen a change in the positive direction?
b. Am I being able to cope up better at work than before?
c. Are my relationships in my family tending to improve?
d. Socially, am I being able to react openly and exhibit myself confidently?
e. Are my goals set by my therapist with me being met one by one?
f. Am I more aware of myself and do I have clarity over my actions?

If you can answer even 3 of these questions in the positive, well, you are tending towards improvement. But don’t get discouraged if you aren’t improving. You aren’t in a competition! Take your issues and answers to these questions to your therapist and discuss. Remember to have a wider outlook towards your entire life and surroundings – if there’s some positive vibe you feel, pat yourself and keep going!

When should you quit therapy?
As your situation improves with time, your bond with your therapist will naturally grow stronger. It would be hard for you to give up your sessions with your therapist after such a fruitful association. So as long as there are no financial hurdles or other commitments preventing you from going for your sessions, it may seem tough for you to call it quits.

The right time for you to get away from therapy is when you personally feel that you have achieved the goals you had set for yourself. It is quite normal for you to see your therapist for a couple of follow up sessions after you have stopped your regular counseling sessions. However, at no cost should you engage yourself into a situation where you make visits to your therapist an indefinite habit. Stay firm on that and be aware of your actions!

Financials about therapy
Therapy is among the relatively expensive treatments, since it calls for some serious amount of time and attention from a specialist.

Few people know, but insurance companies have provisions to cover some limited costs for therapy and counseling. If you are really having a crunch for funding your therapy, you can look out for social centers, young therapists or interns at an agency to keep your costs low.

Be sure to ask if you can pay per sitting and also about possible negotiations if you engage for a longer period of time.

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