I am often asked what it takes to have a successful experience when working with a therapist. After all, you are investing your time, your effort and your dollars because you want to make a change in your life. The change is important to you and the question is a way of asking: “How do I get ready for counseling? What do I need to do to be sure my experience is a good one?”
These are good questions to ask. In this article, I am outlining four factors that will make a definite difference in your experience.
Here’s what you need to have a successful counseling experience:
The first thing you need is to have courage. Beginning therapy/counseling requires the courage to take a step into the unknown, hoping for the best. Many people have not had a counseling experience before and this requires even greater courage just to explore the possibility that this unknown process may be helpful.
The second thing you need is the willingness to explore the possibility that you can trust the therapist and ultimately yourself to have your best interest at heart. The experience of feeling trust in a relationship is the foundation for creating a positive environment to maximize healing and learning.
The third thing you need is an attitude of persistence. This is actually something we all need to be successful in life. You will need to be willing to tolerate the uneven progress of personal growth and change. When you choose to make some changes in your thinking and behavior, you will find that it takes some time for those changes to become comfortable and consistent.
The fourth thing you need is to believe that you can. Be willing to believe in your ability to try new ways of thinking, to try new ways of doing and to try new ways of being. Believe in the possibility for the change that you want to experience. Believe in yourself.
The rewards from a positive counseling experience are worth it. You may experience greater freedom, or relief from anxiety or depression, and ultimately greater inner peace and tranquility.