It is estimated that one-fifth of Canadians will personally encounter a mental health problem at least once in their lives. This can be difficult to cope with, no matter how temporary it might be, especially since it is likely a foreign experience.

Family stress, relationship troubles, employment difficulties. There are so many things that can go wrong in our day to day lives that it’s surprising we as a society haven’t had a complete mental breakdown yet.

This is why a growing number of Canadians are seeing psychotherapists. They can help you navigate through the frustrating, confounding, and befuddling mind and mental anguish. But don’t take their services for granted. It is up to you to maximize your treatment and take full advantage of their skills.

Here are five tips to maximize your session with your psychotherapist:

1. Arrive Early to Your Appointment

Industry professionals typically say that they offer “Therapy Hour” to patients. Unfortunately, because of truancy, administrative functions (see below), and getting comfortable, a lot of sessions are usually 45 minutes, which means that you’re not getting the full hour as intended.

The simple remedy to this problem is to arrive early to your appointments.

By arriving 15 minutes in advance, you can ensure your session starts promptly, you can pay for the services immediately, and you can collect your thoughts. Promptness is a virtue!

2. Maintain a Personal Journal

A personal journal is something that a lot of psychotherapists recommend each patient have. Unfortunately, because of our busy schedules and limited energies, we fail to maintain one.

That said, perhaps it is time to launch such a journal.

With a personal journal, you can accomplish several things:

  • You can look back on your appointment and see what happened.
  • You can remember what your psychotherapist recommended.
  • You can determine what course of action you can take.
  • You can write down current thoughts and feelings and convey them at your next session.

These are only some of the things you can achieve with a personal journal. Anything more is up to you.

3. Say What’s on Your Mind, Ask Anything

The main problem with a lot of patients is that they hold back. They fear being blunt, honest, and emotional. For so long, they have refrained from saying what’s on their mind or asking anything.

Once you sit in that chair or lay down in that sofa, you need change this mindset, this behaviour.

Moving forward, say whatever is on your mind, no matter how random or obscene it might be. Experts say that these types of thoughts or questions can help with your overall treatment.

4. Don’t Avoid the Truth – Accept Honesty

It is often said that psychotherapists only know what you tell them.

In other words, many patients refuse to divulge the entire truth, or even refuse to accept an honest assessment from a neutral source such as a psychotherapist.

But if you avoid the truth and honesty, then what’s the point of seeking professional help at all?

As soon as you start something, it is imperative to continue being an open back in the regard.

5. Get Administrative Tasks Out of the Way

You have just made an emotional breakthrough, but then time is up because you need to write a cheque, book your next appointment, and fill in paperwork for a referral. Darn!

Should your psychotherapist not have a secretary, then it can be pretty awkward and clumsy to work with them on payment, scheduling, referrals, and the list goes on. Even if the medical professional has a secretary on payroll, it can still be uncomfortable completing these administrative tasks after a difficult session.

So, what should you do?

Well, the answer ties into the previous point: arrive early and get these things out of the way.

By doing this, you can just concentrate on your thoughts, feelings, and advancement.

At a time when more people are depressed, more people are stressed, and more people are experiencing a diverse array of emotions that they cannot fathom, psychotherapy has become an essential tool to improve mental health or solve personal woes.

Oftentimes, however, patients do not maximize their treatment or their sessions. Many arrive late, many do not accept the treatment, and many hold back during their appointment.

As you continue your treatment, try your best to take full advantage of his services. Otherwise, you’re throwing money down the tube and you’re not receiving the benefits of psychotherapy.

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