How to Get the Most Out of Your Therapy Sessions
I’ve been going to therapy on and off since my sophomore year of college. What threw me into it was my parents’ divorce and remarriages. Too many months of crying to my friends went by before I realized that I needed to seek professional help. I wanted to learn some coping skills and how to move forward with my own life when I felt like all I’d ever known had been shattered. Since then, I’ve worked over the years to retain those skills and now I’m going to teach you how to get the most out of your therapy sessions.
Have you ever felt like you’re repeating yourself over and over again to your therapist? Now, that is totally normal in therapy, but a few months in, I noticed that as soon as I walked out the door, I forgot what we had just talked about and couldn’t apply what I learned for the next 7 days before I saw my therapist again.
I’ve always been an avid writer and kept journals, so I began looking on Pinterest for therapy note ideas. I adapted a few questions and made “the quadrant method”.
Get out some paper or your phone and ask yourself these four questions RIGHT after therapy sessions. It should only take you about 10 minutes or so. Setting aside the time right away will help you retain the most useful information.
Start off in the top left with a quick 3-4 bullet points or sentences about the main topic of your conversation.
2. Things to Remember
These should be things that your therapist said that made you think “WOAH, that’s true!” or “that’s deep”. Or even things that made you feel uncomfy if you got called out on a toxic thought pattern.
3. Hard Things
Write down the things that you didn’t want to hear. For example, mine is usually along the lines of “you are not in control of other’s actions” or “you can’t make everyone like you”.
4. Things for Next Time
If you come up with any great thoughts you want to expand on during your next session, write them down so you don’t forget! No worries if you can’t think of anything right away, give it a few days to mull over. OR if your therapist gave you any “homework” write that down so you remember to actually do it!
Now that you’ve learned how to get the most out of your therapy sessions, it might be time for you to pick out a journal for yourself! Check out my Beginner’s Guide to Journaling for some of my favorite affordable supplies.