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How to Make Therapy Productive

Once you’ve made the brave decision to go to therapy, you’re starting a road to changing your life. If you make use of your time in treatment, you have an opportunity to better your life. Some people struggle with how to make the most of therapy. They’re sitting there in front of a therapist, and they’re worried about how to start the process. Maybe the person wants to be vulnerable, but they’re worried about being judged. Here are some ways to make the most out of therapy and start making effective changes.


Be honest

It sounds simple, but one way to make therapy work for your best is, to be honest with your therapist. Even if you don’t want to be in therapy, you can say that to your counselor. Being honest is freeing. You have to start from where you are emotionally so that you can evolve and grow. Try to remember that a good therapist doesn’t judge their clients. You are safe to express whatever you need to say in therapy. Speak what’s on your mind, even if it doesn’t seem to make sense. Your therapist is there to accept you unconditionally.

Accept your feelings

Your feelings are real and valid. Whatever comes up for you during a session is something you can handle. You get to decide what you reveal. You talk about things in therapy that could bring up strong emotions, such as sadness, anger, or fear. These are all okay. There’s no right way to feel when you’re talking to your therapist. If you start feeling sad, allow yourself to experience it. If you need to cry, that’s okay. Therapy is a safe space to express and feel emotions. You don’t have to fix your feelings. Feelings are feedback or messages from the brain to the body. Your therapist is there to help you work through these complicated emotions. Mental health professionals understand human behavior and feelings. If you’re confused about why you feel a certain way, your therapist can provide you with insight. That way, you’ll know yourself better, which benefits your emotional health as well as your interpersonal relationships.

Go at your own pace

One great thing about therapy is that it’s your safe space to work through problems. You get to determine how long it takes you to open up. There’s no rush to heal in therapy. If you’ve experienced trauma, remember that you can take your time to open up about it. It takes time to develop a relationship with your therapist and reveal what has happened to you in your life. It doesn’t matter how long it takes to heal. There’s no time limit on healing. A good therapist is patient and doesn’t push their clients to open up when they’re not ready to do so. If you find that things are too intense for you during therapy, it’s okay to communicate that and take a break. Be gentle with yourself and remember that this is your journey. You get to decide how it goes.

Set goals

Setting goals can help you when you’re working toward a goal in your career or in school. The same thing goes for objectives in counseling. In therapy, you can set emotional goals. Maybe that’s work through your trauma, or perhaps it’s to talk about how to be more assertive in your relationships. Whatever your goals are, you can set them and establish these objectives with your therapist. Within these goals, set smaller milestones along the way. If you do that, you’ll feel gratified that you achieved these markers. You can keep track of your progress both in therapy and outside of it. It’s also important to remember that you can adjust goals if you need to do that.

Make therapy work for you

How you define therapy may differ from another person’s definition of it. Maybe you see your sessions as times to learn about your triggers, or perhaps you want to understand your childhood trauma. Therapy could be a place to work through mental illnesses such as depression or obsessive compulsive disorder. Each person gets to decide what therapy means to them and how to make it productive for their wellbeing.

Marie Miguel Biography 

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health 
related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health 
resource with With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with 
mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.