How to Make Better Progress in Your Therapy Sessions

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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 Can I Get the Most out of my 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!

To help answer this question, we’ll dive into: 

  • Tips on how to make the most of each session
  • Can the duration of therapy be shortened with hard work?
  • Is my therapist responsible to make sure I achieve my desired goals?

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…. Yes, ACTUALLY do it:

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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 highlights of the week is a great learning experience and can help you get the most change possible.

  1. 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’ll share below. 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.

So, We Now Know How to Make The Best Progress in Your Therapy Sessions

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, check out our article to see if it’s time to switch therapists.

But you also have the responsibility to be a good client - to actually do the recommended things to optimize your therapy to get the most out of your experience.

You now 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.

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 the “Register Online” form here. Or you can book online using our online scheduler here.

Author |
Kimberly Moffit
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