Anyone who seeks therapy most likely wants to ensure that they get the most out of the experience. Many parents, guardians, and caregivers struggle with wanting to stay strong on the outside for kids and other people in their life, however, and it can be hard to open up or take the time to focus on your personal emotions. That said, therapy has the potential to be a real game-changer in your life. So, how do you get the most from it?
How To Get The Most Out Of Therapy
Here are some ways to make sure that you get the most out of therapy as a parent:
Find The Right Fit
Finding the right therapist is something that makes a world of difference when it comes to seeing a therapist. Some people don’t necessarily realize that there are different kinds of therapy, that there’s a myriad of varying specialties a therapist can have, and that many therapists specialize in working with specific populations or groups. Sometimes, you won’t know exactly what you’re looking for, and that’s okay.
Other times, you might be able to think of something that’s non-negotiable in a therapist, something that would make you more comfortable in therapy, or something that would make your therapeutic relationship the most valuable. If that’s the case for you, seek it out. For example, you may want an LGBTQIA+ therapist who works with a specific concern, or you may be interested in seeing a therapist who is bilingual. If you’re going to therapy for OCD, you might want to see someone who specializes in OCD. You may also want a specific type of therapy, such as EMDR or CBT.
Although not everyone walks into a therapy office knowing when their goals are, setting goals at some point can be incredibly beneficial. If you are just preparing for your first therapy session, it’s normal to feel a little bit nervous or overwhelmed.
In the first session, you’ll typically go over your personal history as it relates to your reason for seeking therapy and talk about why you’re there. If you do have goals in mind, you might reveal them right away (for example, “I’d like to manage my stress levels more effectively” or “I’d like to work on social anxiety”), but if you don’t, you might establish them later with your therapist. This is helpful for those who want to keep track of their progress or keep a target in mind.
This is your time to talk about anything that’s on your mind. Of course, it depends somewhat on the type of therapy you attend (individual therapy vs. family therapy or couples therapy), but if you’re seeing an individual therapist, for the most part, this is the time to focus on you.
If you’re in family therapy, couples therapy, or group therapy, you might also consider seeing an individual therapist yourself, especially if you find that you are overwhelmed, struggling, or simply aren’t feeling your best. This is also the case if, perhaps, your child is seeing a therapist and you aren’t. Having a support system is vital for everyone, but it can be particularly crucial for parents to check in with themselves and make sure that their need for a support system is being met, and a therapist can play a crucial role in that support system in many cases.
Online therapy is a fantastic option for parents because it allows you to cut the commute time out of your day and get professional mental health support from the privacy of your own home or anywhere else with a reliable internet connection. It’s also often more affordable than traditional in-person counseling or therapy if you receive it through an online therapy website or platform. There are a number of ways that you can go about looking for a counselor or therapist. Depending on what your needs are, you can sign up for a reputable online therapy website, ask your doctor for a referral to a counselor or therapist in your area, or search the web for a provider near you. You can also use a website like Mind Diagnostics that can help you locate providers who offer online therapy and are licensed to practice in your area. Regardless of how you reach out for support, it is something to be proud of, so don’t hesitate to take the first step.