Therapy is the most effective strategy we have for addressing our mental health and wellness needs. It is a true science – extensively researched, delivered with those that have an advanced education, and carefully fine tuned to help with all different types of conditions including anxiety, depression, and more.
But the field of psychology is not like chemistry or physics. Therapy involves people, and every person has their own personalities, traumas, and experiences. That means that each person is going to think and respond differently. Your therapist can do everything right, following the science directly to address your mental health concerns. But there is always going to be a component that is affected by the patient.
What it Takes to Improve Therapy Success
One of the things we look at during our early sessions is the patient’s readiness for therapy. That is because a person has to be open to the idea of therapy to be more successful. This means:
- Willingness to acknowledge areas of needed growth without a defensive posture. Just like you need a safe space to share your thoughts and feelings, so too does your therapist need to be able to safely tell you ways that you might need to grow as a person.
- Openness to new perspectives and experiences. The need for therapy is an acknowledgement that you need help from someone that understands mental health. Human beings are stubborn, and want to believe they have all the answers. But that doesn’t work in therapy, since part of our job is to provide you with these new perspectives.
- Acceptance of being uncomfortable at times in order to move beyond obstacles. Sometimes, the topics in therapy can be painful. But a surgeon needs to be able to cut into you in order to help you heal, and so too is it often necessary to talk about and address painful experiences, memories, and more.
Finally, it takes trust. You have to be able to trust in the process and the therapist. That might mean that you’re asked to do some type of activity, like affirmations, that you may not believe in or that you are negative about. But you have to trust that these recommendations come from a place of science, and that your therapist recognizes what will be best for your recovery and growth.
Working with a Therapist is a Commitment
When a person chooses therapy, they are also choosing to commit to real change. But like any obligation, it is only as valuable if you really are committed. Anyone can join therapy, but if you’re not truly “in it” you are going to be the one to stand in the way of your own success. Trust the process and the people, and the results will come.