Hello and Happy New Year everyone!
Today I want to share 6 tips with you on how to get the most out of your counseling relationship. I have learned a lot from my clients over the past 7+ years. I have had the privilege of supporting men and women in their quest for healing and growth. Over this time, there are some qualities that show up consistently in clients who have had most success in achieving their goals. Clients who tend to have the most success in achieving their goals:
1. Consistently schedule and attend sessions
Clients who consistently schedule and attend their sessions are able to move more quickly towards their goals. Whether it’s weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly, attending regular sessions helps clients better develop and stick with new routines.
2. Communicate honestly and often
Share what is or isn’t working for you. Share what you are really struggling with. Share your successes and continued challenges. The important thing is that you share and share honestly. Clients who do this are better able to learn how to accept and be honest with themselves and their counselor.
3. Come to session with a plan of what they would like to focus on
Clients set the agenda. When clients take ownership of this and come to each session prepared with what they want to focus on, they get a lot more out of the session. It also helps the counselor stay aligned with a client’s needs and not move into what she may “think” the client needs.
4. Complete homework or focus on growth in-between session
It is the time between session where a client is able to practice new ways of being. This is where the real growth happens. Clients who take the time to work between sessions move much more quickly towards their goals.
5. Focus on improving overall quality of life instead of pain avoidance
The very nature of living means that we will experience things that are awesome and things that are painful. Clients who focus on their desire to learn how to live a good quality of life, are better able to manage the ups and downs in their quest for growth and healing.
6. Understand that change happens over time
Clients who are able to accept that change & healing takes time are better able to settle into the counseling process. These clients are a little better able to practice patience with themselves and the change process.
If you are working with a counselor or therapist and are finding that your progress is slow or your needs aren’t being met, try one or more of the tips above. If you have found some additional or different tips that help you get the most out of your counseling relationship, please share in the comments section below.