How to do Therapy

One of the most valuable statements a therapist can make to their client is “I don’t really know what you’re going to do, but let’s talk about it.” The meaning of this statement imparts the idea that “not knowing all the answers is normal.” Accessing support, then talking and exploring potential alternative decisions and actions is an avenue to creative solutions. Finally, outcomes and following through is a responsibility of the client, not the therapist.

What will be healing or therapeutic for you? The simple answer is, to cultivate an authentic and caring relationship with your therapist. One that contains commitment and self-discipline. Be honest and open, or try holding back, but experiment and see which one provides you with a better outcome.

Can a relationship be authentic and therapeutic without self-discipline? I ask you, who would you prefer to spend quality time with? Someone who models a degree of healthy self-discipline in multiple areas of life or someone who lacks self-discipline in most areas of life?

Physically healthy or unhealthy? Financially healthy or broke? Someone who enjoys healthy relationships or someone else? As I write these questions and ideas for you to consider, I find myself considering that “self-discipline” may be a key ingredient to any successful endeavor.

I will provide you with three major components to counseling and therapy.

Therapeutic Components

Each one of these stages include a subcategory of “follow-through” for clients and for the therapist. Ideally, clients will follow-through by experimenting in their real lives. Upon returning for your next session, you will debrief your experience with your psychologist. Together, you can co-create or refine and generate additional potential actions to experiment with in your situation.

Empathy Component

During the “empathy” component of therapy, you tell your story, the gritty, grimy details. How you feel. What you believe, and your expectations, of course.

Exploring Patterns Component

During the “exploring patterns” component of therapy, your psychologist will help you to increase your self-awareness of elements working or not working in the background, such as getting stuck in negative thinking, feeling upset easily, and unhelpful behaviors that lead back to unhelpful patterns of thinking and feeling.

Cognitive Understanding Component

During the “cognitive understanding” component of therapy you and your psychologist will discuss unknown yet healthy potential opportunities for you to work on.

Eventually, you circle back to the empathy stage, explore more patterns, and refine and refocus onto new, more productive options. The therapeutic process continues in this manner (a positive spiral of action, thoughts, and emotions), indefinitely, until you feel totally satisfied.

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