To be proactive in your own growth and development, you have to do more than just physically attend therapy sessions. Here are some additional ways to show up.
1. Know what you want. How do you want to feel? How will you know you’re improving and growing, or when you’re ready to stop?
2. List your highlights. Come to your first session with the history of: your life, any problems, relationships, substance use, hopes, dreams, etc. You’ll be able to focus on the therapy faster.
3. Give details. Just telling your therapist, “We had a fight,” doesn’t uncover the dynamics in the relationship.
4. Prepare for appointments. What’s changed since your last session? Reflect on any insights, and bring them with you.
5. Write in a journal. Journaling helps you process your sessions and bring new material to the surface.
6. Notice patterns. When things recur in your life, they are big clues and shouldn’t be ignored.
7. Act on your insights. Putting new insights into action makes great therapy sessions stick.
8. Be honest. Yes, with your therapist. But most importantly, with yourself.
9. Take responsibility. Your therapist is there to support you while you do the work of healing and transformation.
10. Be patient. Change happens over time. With patience, you CAN shift to a place of greater peace.