therapy

Are You Making the Most of Therapy?

If you're struggling or stuck, counseling may be a good way to get a new perspective, move forward positively and protect your well-being. And if you're living with a mental health condition, seeing a therapist may be a key part of your treatment plan.

Are you in talk therapy or considering it? These tips can help you make the most of it:

1. Set goals
Be sure your therapist knows what you hope to achieve. For example, perhaps you want to:

Find ways to cope with strong emotions, such as grief
Change behaviors that are making you unhappy
Build healthier relationships
Better manage stress, anxiety or depression
Explore or navigate a major life change 

2. Discuss a timeline
It will depend on your needs and goals. Ask your therapist how you'll work together on your goals and how long you might need counseling services. Some issues are chronic or take longer than others to work through. But in other cases, people might feel that they're making progress after just a few sessions.

3. Be honest
Sometimes, talking about personal problems can be uncomfortable. But the more open you are about your true feelings and experiences, the more your counselor can help. 

4. Take notes during each session
Reading them over can remind you of what you discussed, including what action steps you should try.

5. Do your homework
For example, your counselor might suggest you write in a journal or change your behavior in a certain way. If you don't get specific tips, ask what you can do outside of therapy to move toward your goals.

6. Welcome new ways
Often, therapy means exploring approaches that feel outside your comfort zone. But trying new strategies for managing or responding to situations is the only way to see if they work. If you give up too quickly, you might miss out on something that really helps.

7. Speak up
Your counselor wants your therapy to succeed — and collaboration is a key to that. So don't hesitate to say if you:

Think a session didn't go well
Don’t feel you're making progress
Want to focus on a new goal
Are considering stopping your therapy

When you're frank, it gives your counselor a chance to think about the best ways to help you.

It's also vital that you develop trust and a good connection with your therapist. So if you don't feel comfortable or you don't feel like you're being heard, it may not be a good fit — and you may benefit from making a change.

 

From Maesk Counseling in Fort Lauderdale - Do I Need Counseling?

Every day many people in Fort Lauderdale and Broward county search online for help with their problems, wondering if it’s finally time to reach out for direction and support to handle sadness, depression, anxiety, stress, fights with their partner or spouse, and family issues, among others. Here are some of the questions and mistaken beliefs we encounter as therapists every day.

Can’t I just talk to my friends about my problems?

Talking to a friend about mental health or personal issues may bring you temporary relief, but will make the problem more deep seated in the long run because you become more identified with the issue the longer you complain without intervention. Remember, you get what you pay for, and zero-cost advice is pretty much worth zero!

Nobody can change my situation, so why pay to see a professional about it?

There is a saying that “your world changes when YOU change.”  A professional, licensed therapist is trained in ways to help you respond to your world differently. We have at least two college degrees and extensive supervised training thereafter. There are thinking patterns, usually formed in childhood, of which you are completely unaware. I can show you how you are holding yourself back and perhaps help you find insight and freedom. It’s often a cage of your own making!

I’ve felt this way so long…

If you had a persistent fever, would you just say “oh well” and live with it? Or would you go to a health care specialist who could evaluate, diagnose, and treat it? The average person doesn’t realize how common mood and relationship problems are to the human condition, and that they can be (and are) identified and studied. Whole systems of therapy are developed for common issues, much as drugs are developed for physical ailments. 

What will people think?

The people intelligent and mature enough to seek therapy realize that it doesn’t matter what people think! It matters how you live every day of your limited, precious life, and whether you can enjoy that to a higher degree and love more fully. Besides, you would be surprised how many of those “imaginary people” you think are judging you are actually patients themselves.

Is it time for YOU to feel better? It’s time!  Contact Maesk Group Counseling and  Get started NOW.

From Maesk Counseling in Fort Lauderdale - Getting the Most Out of Therapy

No matter if you are coming to Maesk Group Counseling for depression help, anxiety help, marriage counseling, or other issues, many factors determine the depth of relief and satisfaction a client experiences from their counseling.  Here are some suggestions for making your therapeutic experience the best possible:

1) Be totally honest.  Believe me, I've heard every story.  The human condition contains basic elements that exist in all problems presented, and you're not going to shock me, nor am I going to disapprove of you!

2) Be open to new ways of thinking.  Although you are free to examine, use, or discard any suggestions I make, remember that behavior change is required for growth.  "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten."

3) Understand the difference in professional therapy and "talking to a friend."  A minimum of seven years of college is required to legally practice as a counselor.  We are also required to get several thousand hours of internship experience and supervision before being licensed.

4) Expect some resistance from family or friends.  Change, even good change, can be threatening, and comes with a price.  Your relationships will change because your world changes when YOU change.  There will be people in your life who resist this, who want you to "stay in your box."  It is indeed necessary to rock the boat for things to ultimately improve. 

5) Do your homework.  The true change of the therapy experience only takes place outside of the office, as you test the new ideas I give you and report the results back to me. 

6) Journal, journal, and journal some more.  The research is compelling: journaling continues the therapeutic progress outside of the session, releases tension, and moves you forward faster.

7) Attend as regularly and as often as possible.  For most people, that means a commitment to weekly therapy.  It’s also smart to come in occasionally after therapy has ended if you sense a downturn in mood or thinking. 

8) Be patient with yourself.  It took you a lifetime to develop these thinking patterns; it will take more than a session or two to change them!

9) Make notes after the session.  Ideally, schedule enough free time after your therapy to go somewhere and process what came up.

10) Take responsibility for the session.  Notice during the week what bothers you, excites you, what insights come up in your journaling that need to be explored further.  Bring this information to session.