Did you know that most people who go to counseling are highly satisfied with the outcome? In fact, about 8 out of 10 people report that therapy has been effective for them. Here are a few quick ways to increase your odds of success. First, make sure it’s the right time to attend. We all need a certain level of motivation to explore our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and it’s important to find the right time to do so. Counseling can help but only when the readiness to change is present.
Find a therapist who appears to be a good match for you. Your comfort with his or her style, age, gender, personality, and philosophy is an essential component to counseling success. At root, therapy works best when there is mutual respect, connection, and partnership. Incredibly, the strength of the relationship between client and therapist is more influential on outcome than the theory or techniques that are used!
Outside relationships are often a make or break factor in counseling. I love it when my clients tell me that their significant other supports their therapy. We don’t change in a vacuum. The support and care from our friends and loved ones are helpful assists in making and sustaining changes.
Take an active role in your own outcome. Ask questions. Do your best to have an agenda for sessions. Take some time to think about what you’d like to discuss to get the most out of a session. Collaboration with your psychologist or counselor is a vital component – say what does and does not work for you; you might need a listening ear at times or an active, contributing voice at other moments. Your therapist will appreciate your input and you will both have a more effective relationship.
Finally, your willingness to commit to the counseling process will help you get the most out of counseling. As with anything in life, there are few shortcuts and your level of effort will influence the outcome. Hard work happens in and outside of session. Your dedication to the process will move you towards success.