8 Tips to Help You Get the Most from Your Counseling

Individual counseling

Depression is a big problem for people around the planet. There are at least 350 million people around the world who are impacted by the metal problem. In 2012, approximately 16 million people had at least one major depressive episode in the United States. That translates to about 7% of the population. Every year, the United States economy loses about $80 billion due to health care costs and lost productivity. While there is treatment for depression, nearly 50% of all people who suffer from it, never seek any help. If you have made the decision to get counseling services for your depression, there are ways to get the most from it.

  1. Be open and honest. It can be very scary and intimidating to go to for therapy services. Many people were brought up to not talk about their feelings. Many people were raised to always say, they were fine and things were great. When you go for counseling services, you need to forget all of that. It may feel unnatural but you have to be as open as you can be. If you cannot be honest in therapy, you should wait until you can be.
  2. Give yourself some quiet time before and after your session. Before your session and again when you are done, take about 15 minutes to reflect on how you are feeling and what feelings were brought up by the session with the psychotherapy services you just received or are about to get.
  3. Prepare yourself mentally. You will want to have an idea of what you want to go over and what kinds of things are going on in your life. Spend some time calming your brain and getting ready. Some people take some time to write down what they want to talk about. If you go in right from a phone call or from checking your phone, you brain may not be in the right place to get the most from your counseling services.
  4. Reflect on your session when it is done. Do not schedule a big meeting right after your session with your counselor. Some people take a little time to journal about their experiences. You should note your experiences, thoughts, feelings, how well you think your sessions are going and if you have worked out a game plan with your therapist for future sessions.
  5. Be good to yourself. Many people are so used to always telling people about how fine they are feeling, that they can get upset for feeling the bad thing that they may have been avoiding. Having feelings of sadness, regret, grief and more are totally normal and should not be a reason to beat yourself up. If you are feeling more emotional after your session, do not beat yourself up for that. Experience the bad feelings and they will pass. In Buddhist meditation, it is often helpful to focus on the idea of impermanence. Nothing you are feeling will last forever.
  6. Go to your therapy session sober. Some people think that because they are going to talk about sensitive topics and there is the chance that a lot of emotions will come out. In these situations, many people turn to alcohol or drugs. Going into your therapy session impaired will mean you get nothing real from the sessions. It is just a big waste of time.
  7. Do not think you have to go to the first counselor you see. It can be hard to open up during counseling services sessions. You need to find a therapist whom you trust and like. Not every therapist is right for every person or every situation. If you go to a therapist and you do not like, go to another. There is no rule that you have to go with the first person you see.
  8. Do not judge your current therapist by a bad one you had. Every therapy experience is different. If you went to marriage counseling, that experience will be different from individual therapy sessions. Whether you had a great experience or a terrible one, you have to separate them. Give the new therapist a chance.

Many people get are really helped by therapy, these tips should help you with yours.

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