Therapist’s Take On Getting The Absolute Most Out Of Therapy

You, me, and millions of other Kenyans need and deserve therapy. If there’s one thing that the pandemic uncovered is the need for mental health awareness. Not only did the pandemic highlight an increased global prevalence of anxiety and depression, but also an increase in substance abuse and suicide ideation. We are now in the early stages of recovery. Beginning therapy may help us cope with life’s challenges in healthier and more productive ways.

With that, I sort out information from my good friend and therapist Nancy Kabiru from Hisia Psychology Consultants on frequently asked questions when it comes to preparing for therapy.

1. How to prepare for your first therapy session
Do research before choosing a therapist, preferably one who has direct experience with your specific concerns. Know your “why” for seeking therapy and set goals and objectives for therapy. Clear out enough time before and after the session for attendance and post session processing. Feel free to request for a phone consultation to get answers to basic questions you might have about therapy.

2. What to know before seeing a therapist
Finding a therapist who is the right fit is very important. Therapy requires financial investment – prepare yourself financially for this. You might feel worse before you start to feel better. There’s a probability of becoming attached to your therapist – Just be honest about it should it happen. It is okay to switch therapists. Commitment and consistency in the therapeutic process is key.

3. How to get the most out of therapy

Find the right therapist, one that best suits your needs. Be clear about what you want to get out of therapy. Be open and honest about your views and experiences. Do your homework and any activities taken from sessions, and continue the work outside the session. Practice self-care in between sessions. Keep an open mind, manage your expectations and be patient with yourself throughout the process. Always affirm yourself for any progress made.

4. What to do before scheduling a therapy session
Choose a convenient time. Have your finances in order. Think about therapeutic benefits and goals. Ask any questions you might have.

5. Signs of a good therapist
Are non-judgemental. They are active listeners. They are empathetic. They are flexible and open to feedback. Their treatment approach is evidence-based. They perform regular check-ins and invested in client’s progress. They encourage client independence and competence. They are respectful

6. Questions to ask before selecting a therapist
What’s your training? (certifications or degrees). How long have you worked in this field? Do you have experience working with patients who share my condition? How much will the treatment cost?
How long will therapy last? Are your sessions online or in your office? What are the indications that therapy is effective and what should I do if I do not feel better?

7. How to find a therapist that is right for you

Explore local resources e.g employee assistance programs. Ask someone you can trust (referrals). Use reliable online database and directories