Strategies for first-timers who want to get the most out of counseling

Shane Porter / Headline SurferBy SHANE PORTER
Column: Get Psyched
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NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. -- Therapy is similar to exercise in many ways.

The more that you put into it, the more you get out, and the better you will feel about the results afterward. In fact, using the term “talk therapy” can sometimes be misleading.

The process of talk therapy involves taking the time to look inwards and changing both your perspective and your behaviors. This self-exploration is what makes talk-therapy so effective. You are the world’s leading expert on yourself, after all.

Because of how involved the process of talk-therapy is, patients can sometimes come in unprepared to take advantage of the time they have with their psychologist. Fortunately, there are strategies to maximize this time:

• Prior to your first session, write down or make notes of the behaviors, actions, and emotional states you’re most concerned with changing. Being able to tell your psychologist that you’re often anxious and have trouble getting work done because of something you’re worried about is very helpful information.

• Don’t be afraid to take notes or write down your thoughts during the session or in the days following your appointment.

• Be open to advice, and give your therapist feedback. If you disagree, let your psychologist know. Communicating openly is key to a successful course of treatment.

The most important advice that we can give to our patients is to come in with an open mind.

Therapy only works when our patients are ready for help and motivated for change.

Counselinf Center of NSB / Headline SurferThe most important advice that we can give to our patients is to come in with an open mind.

Therapy only works when our patients are ready for help and motivated for change.

That’s why we always strive to be, first and foremost, a partner in your health and wellness.

 

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Short Bio

Shane Porter, a licensed mental health counselor who has been in private practice since 1998, is president of the Counseling Center of New Smyrna Beach. His community column, "Get Psyched," is exclusively carried by Headline Surfer®.