14 Feb How To Make the Most Out of Therapy
Sometimes it can feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, and you have no one to turn to. It may feel scary to talk about how you’re feeling, even to your close friends and family. But what about talking to someone who’s outside of the situation, who may be able to help you navigate your thoughts?
Choosing to go to therapy, although it’s more common than you’d think, can feel like a big decision to make. Talking about your deepest problems with a stranger? That’s outside of nearly everyone’s comfort zone!
Our friend, and mental health professional, Dr. Ruby H. Barghini has advice on how to make the most out of therapy, and what misconceptions about mental health treatment may need to be forgotten before you make the first move.
Choose Where You Want the Session To Go
Your first session might be nerve wracking, and that’s understandable. But you can find comfort in knowing that the conversation is in your hands. Ultimately, you are in charge of your own therapy session.
“My approach to therapy with teenagers is to let them go where they want to go,” says Dr. Barghini. “They can use our session to talk about whatever they want to talk about that day.”
Opening up to a stranger may take time, but remember that everything is on your terms. Progress doesn’t happen overnight, especially in therapy. Give yourself time, and always remember that whenever you’re ready to talk, someone will be there to listen.
You Don’t Need to Call it “Therapy”
Although society has come a long way, there is still a stigma attached to many mental health issues — including therapy. But the only opinion that matters is yours.
“You don’t have to call it ‘therapy’ or anything with a stigma attached to it. Even using a word that sounds negative can create a lot of resistance for teenagers,” says Dr. Barghini.
Therapy is all about working through whatever struggles or hardships you may be going through, but at the end of the day it’s just thoughtful conversation. The best way to make the most of therapy is to remember that it’s whatever you want it to be.
It’s All About Your Mindset
All good things start with an open mind. Therapy is no different! It may sound simple, but to make the most of your experience, try thinking “what do I have to lose?” More often than not, the answer is: nothing!
“I suggest than anyone starting therapy go into it thinking, ‘this is just for me, and it may help. Or, it may not, but I’m going in with an open mind’,” suggests Dr. Barghini.
As a teenager, there can be a lot of pressure to fit in and be “normal.” But what matters the most, is that you’re putting yourself and your mental health first. Sometimes, admitting that you need a little extra help is the hardest part of getting better.
Whether you just need someone to talk to, or you’re ready to make a big change in your life, therapy can be a good option to try. Now that you understand how to make the most of it, it doesn’t hurt to try!