Therapy “How-To!”

Therapy “How-To!”

What’s Important? What Matters? What Obstacles are Blocking You?

You’ve taken the step to schedule your 1st appointment. Or … it’s your 10th appointment.

Either way, you are nervous. Worried you might not know what to do when you get here. You have all these thoughts running through your head like “Will she judge me?… Will it really help?” Here are some ideas on how to make the most out of your 1st and all ongoing counseling sessions … 

Tip #1: Be Honest

You have nothing to lose by being completely honest in each of our sessions. I work under strict client-therapist confidentiality laws to keep everything we discuss private (unless you are a danger to yourself or others). Be as open as you can about your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. I am not here to judge you. I am here to lend a hand by guiding and coaching you to greater clarity and mastery of your goals.

Tip #2:  “Stream-of-Conscious” – Keep a Journal

During the week keep a personal journal of your reflections on either your cell phone or in a spiral notebook.

Macro/Micro Topic Tip: Identify the broad MACRO TOPIC (s) and then write down the small MICRO EXAMPLE(s) or PATH(s) about what happened in that MACRO so we can figure out what’s important, what matters, what’s involved, and what obstacles are causing why it’s not working for you. Bring this data to our session!

Stream-of-Conscious thinking is best — this is not a college essay exercise! Jot it down however you like. Write it for you — not for me. Write it so you can use your time wisely and not leave the session with a feeling that you didn’t cover what was important!!

Tip #3: “5/10” Rule Identify Therapy Goals

Get your journal or notebook out before our session. Take 5-10 minutes to reflect on the MACRO/MICRO of what you’ve been thinking about, working on, or got stuck on. Write down any additional questions or topics you want to focus on in our next session. Bring it in and just read off/refer to it while we are working together is perfect! The more you prepare, the more we can effectively share!

Tip #4: Status Reports Welcome Please!

Graduation is what my work is all about! Coming to the session day where you say to me, “Hey, I’m feeling so much better, and it’s time to say… so long!!” is a day of celebration for the both of us. On the other hand, speak up if you feel you are not making the progress you want, have financial challenges, or there are timing issues that are impacting our ability to work together. I am here to help not hinder! Status reports are always welcome and allow me to adjust what we are doing and/or get you the help you need with a referral that may work better for you.

Source: Adapted from “8 Ways to Make the Most of Counseling” by Marci Payne, Aug 08, 2016

Immediate Support: 
1. 911 – available 24/7
2. Dial 988- Mental health-related crisis support
3. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline; 1-800-273-TALK (8255)  – available 24/7
4. Lifeline Chat: – available 24/7
5. Crisis Text Line, Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a crisis counselor – available 24/7
6. SAMHSA National Helpline; 1-800-662-4357 –  available 24/7 (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
7. Veterans Crisis Line; 1-800-273-8255, Press 1 OR Text 838255 – available 24/7
8. Trevor Project LGBT Crisis Line; (866) 488-7386 – available 24/7