How to Make Better Progress in Your Therapy Sessions

< back to blogs
Published Date|
July 2, 2022

5 Tips to Make Better Progress in Your Therapy Sessions

Making the best possible progress in your therapy sessions is important for a number of reasons – therapy can be expensive, time consuming, and let’s face it, hard work!

Maybe your current condition is unbearable, or maybe you have a limited number of insurance dollars and can’t extend the budget past what your benefits will cover.

While researching options for counselling many people ask if there’s a way to speed up the process. You might be wondering how you can make the most out of your therapy sessions.

Working with KMA Therapy since 2008, I’ve seen many examples of clients who have truly gotten the most out of their time in therapy - and I’ve watched them leave with the greatest smile of satisfaction on their face when their goals are finally met! I’ve also seen many examples of clients who don’t get the most out of therapy, and are disappointed with the end results.

Our goal for this article is to help give you all the information you need to know how to make the most of your time and effort in therapy. Bring these tips into your therapy sessions to get your best possible results!

By the end of this article, you’ll have all the information you need on how to get the most out of your therapy sessions.

5 Tips on How to Make the Most of your Therapy Session

There are a few key things you can do today to make the most of your sessions with your therapist. Put them into practice and enjoy the benefit of more change.

1. Do your homework

A recent study showed that as many as 50% of people don’t complete the homework provided to them by their therapist. Attending your next session without actually having done the homework can delay your progress in therapy. 

While the next session won’t necessarily be a waste of time, homework is part of the therapy process and keeps you mentally engaged and learning even when you’re not in session.

2. Tell the whole truth, even if it’s a little uncomfortable

You’re not alone if you’ve hid something from your therapist because it was initially a little shameful. And we get it, it can be tough to build trust with someone new and you’re entitled to take as long as you want to share your story. 

But remember - your therapist is a licensed professional who has experience in dealing with situations just like yours, and has likely heard similar things before. So getting everything out on the table right away can help them understand the full picture and put the best plan in place.

3. Be your full and unique self

No need to hide who you really are. Show every part of yourself, the drama queen, the inner child, the warrior. If you need to cry, cry! If you need to vent, vent! Don’t hold back on what you need to say out of courtesy for the therapist or to be polite. 

Your unique personality is what will create rapport and help the therapist see your full self. And all of that can be used to effect change.

4. Come prepared for sessions with insights from the week

Take notes during the week of issues that arose. How did they make you feel? How did you deal with them? What did you learn?

Telling your therapist about your best or worst parts of the week is a great learning experience and can help you get the most change possible.

5. Don’t skip sessions

Momentum in therapy is important - change can happen more quickly when you’re engaged and present in your emotions, behaviours, and tendencies.

Taking note of events that happen throughout the week and your emotional reaction to those events (and then talking about those thoughts and behaviours in your session) is an essential part of the learning. 

Think of it as a weekly commitment to yourself and don’t skip sessions unless it’s an emergency.

Can the Duration of Therapy Be Shortened With Hard Work?

The length of time you’ll need in therapy is highly variable and strongly depends on the issues you’re facing. 

Effective therapy can be as short as even one session for a simple situational issue, about 8-12 weeks for a basic cognitive-behavioural therapy round for general diagnoses like anxiety and depression (although many clients need therapy long after this), 6-12 months for more involved clinical issues such as OCD and phobias, and 12 weeks to years for interpersonal relationships, trauma, personal growth, boundary setting, and family dynamics.

Some people don’t view therapy as something that has a defined end date the minute their current issues are resolved, but rather, as an ongoing resource of feedback and support for life’s issues as they arise. 

However, if you need to get your issues solved fast, the answer is yes, the duration of therapy can be shortened with hard work.

I’ve watched many clients reduce their time in therapy substantially by using the tips I shared above. The best part is, they reduce their time in therapy that they need, so that they can either get out of therapy entirely, or even excitedly move on to therapy that they want.

Next Steps for Making Progress in Therapy

After reading this article, you know that as a client, you can actually impact the length of time you spend in therapy with preparation, hard work, and commitment. By taking our tips and practicing regularly, you’re all set to have an optimal therapy experience.

Your therapist has the responsibility to provide you with absolutely everything you need for success – structured feedback, homework, exercises, honesty, and their clinical expertise.

Your therapist should also be regularly checking in with you to ensure you’re experiencing change in your day-to-day life. And they should be routinely going back to your initial goals and objectives to ensure that your progress is on track with the desired outcomes.

If you’re unsure of if you’re making progress with your therapist, read How to Break Up With Your Therapist.

At KMA Therapy, we check in regularly with our clients to ensure that they’re making the desired progress on their goals and objectives. We want you to have the best possible experience, and that involves making the most out of each and every session!

If you’re interested in booking an intake session here at KMA and starting your therapy journey with us, fill out our Registration Form or Book an Appointment today.

About the Author

Kimberly is the founder of KMA Therapy and one of Canada's most experienced media relationship experts. She received her doctoral degree in Counselling Psychology in 2015 at Middlesex University, where her doctoral research studied the emotional psychology of entrepreneurs. She also has a Masters Degree in Music Therapy from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Guelph.‍

Author |
Kimberly Moffit
No items found.
KMA Therapy

Register Online

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Or, are you all set and ready to book?

Choose from available times and book your intake now.

Ontario's Premier Counselling Practice

Therapy has been proven to increase happiness, reduce anxiety, and increase overall fulfillment. Our team of specialized therapists are here to help you work through the issues that are important to you.