How to Have An Effective Therapy Session

Having the courage and open-mindedness to attend your first therapy session is a huge step. However, in order to continue to have effective and meaningful sessions, one must have confidence in the following beliefs.

People can change. Therapy emphasises the importance of choice over circumstance, providing options that can help guide patients’ behaviour. Nothing is predetermined and unchangeable, and with the presence of a psychologist, clients learn to take control of their lives. Emphasis is not placed on fixing symptoms, but rather, developing the client’s trust in themselves to change.

Change takes time. Making long-lasting, positive changes is a gradual process, and therapy normalises that progress is not linear. There will be peaks and troughs, good days and bad days. Change requires a shift in mindset, habits, attitudes and actions, all of which cannot be transformed in a day’s work. Clients are encouraged to manage their expectations in a realistic and positive manner.

Authentic relationships play a key role. Research has shown the importance of developing a supportive social network to lessen the effects of negative psychological symptoms, such as depression and trauma. The therapeutic relationship between a client and a psychologist is also seen as an additional social network that helps strengthen the client’s emotional resilience and coping mechanisms.

Negative life events can be seen in a different light. While events of the past cannot be changed, therapy allows the client to frame the experience as an opportunity to grow and to learn while at the same time validating every emotion and thought associated with that point in time.

Emotions are part of human existence. Emotions, both positive and negative, are normalised in therapy. In fact, when clients feel distressed, they are encouraged to acknowledge and express themselves, instead of ignoring or suppressing their thoughts and feelings. It is only through the acceptance of emotions that can help start the process of making powerful changes. Emotions also inform psychologists about clients’ states, and provide a new way of interpreting their thoughts.

Mind You aims to transform our culture and empower people to take control of their mental health and live more fulfilled lives. We take pride in lifting away the stigma, lowering counseling costs and providing increased access to mental health care for all Filipinos.

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