View therapy as a collaboration.
Your therapist is there to help you learn how to help yourself. Express your needs, ask questions, do the “homework” assignments and don’t be afraid to speak up if something doesn’t make sense. If you have something specific to talk about during the session then let the therapist know. This is your time and your therapist wants you to use it in anyway that will be beneficial to you.
Say anything in therapy.
People often censor themselves for fear of judgement or appearing impolite. However, saying what you really want to say will actually help lead you to making progress. Censoring yourself will only limit you. So speak up, whether it’s about how you don’t want to be in therapy, or you don’t like how the therapist said something or if you don’t understand why you keep having certain feelings about unrelated topics. Whatever comes to mind, say it. The therapist can only help with the information that you have given them. If you aren’t telling them how you’re really feeling, then they won’t be able to provide you with the appropriate advice or recommendations.
Do the work outside of the sessions.
Therapy sessions only last on average 50 mins and typically sessions are only once a week or every other week. If you limited your efforts to improving to just that time, it would take you forever to make any progress. This is why it’s so important to take the recommendations from your therapist and apply them outside of therapy. Do the “homework” assignments that are given to you. You will see progress quicker. If you are having trouble implementing the recommendations, then talk about it with your therapist so that you both can adjust them as needed.
Understand that progress takes time.
Therapy is a process and progress typically doesn’t happen quickly. Depending on how rooted the problem or issue is in your life, it could take months or years to completely be free from it. For some, it’s an ongoing process where they will be in and out of therapy depending on how the issue is affecting them at any particular time. However, if you feel like you have been in therapy awhile and there still isn’t any progress, talk to your therapist about it. Have an honest conversation about what could be stopping that progress from happening.