This is a frequent question I get from patients. They are so preoccupied with their approach to therapy and as they attempt to evaluate their success, lose sight of the therapeutic goals. So, how can 'we' as a therapeutic team be successful in therapy?
That's right, being honest with both yourself and your therapist; by bringing the good, the bad and the ugly with you to the therapy sessions you will be better apt to identify goals earlier on in therapy and also hold yourself accountable.
Trust your therapist
It is hard when we have been hurt to be able to trust another human, especially if we find we have been let down time and time again. Building a solid therapeutic relationship is important so you are able to trust your therapist. It can take time to develop this, so do not feel as though you have to rush. Take your time and feel out the space to ensure it is right for you. Take the leap when you are ready.
Allow yourself to feel the feels; the unhappy, the elated and in-between emotions that are prompted through your narrative. Our society has somehow convinced us all that vulnerability is an inadequacy and that is likely a reason why we are so hesitant to share in the vulnerability; by holding presence with our therapist through the vulnerable moments will help us as patients become more aware of our own truth and encourage us not to push it aside but acknowledge it.
Therapists are honest. They will tell you the hard truth of the matter and it can be hard to hear. You are in therapy for a reason and to ignore the perspectives of others can lead to therapy being a waste of your time and money. Taking responsibility for your actions or your part in the dilemma can be very therapeutic in pursuing goals and active change in your relationships.
Practice your skills
Homework can be the last thing you want to do after a hard therapy session, but we could reframe the homework task into coping practice. It is so important to continue to apply your new skills to your every day life in order to make them habit and second nature. By adapting the new skills you are learning into your lifestyle, you are becoming more adaptive to your own maladaptive behaviors.