By Steven Frankel, M.D.
People who go into therapy frequently report good experiences where the patient feels understood and well-supported by the therapist, who uses his or her therapeutic skills to facilitate a discovery and healing process.
But what if your therapy frustrates you? What if your therapist is off base and you don’t seem to be making progress? What happens if you can’t communicate with your therapist?
Here are several tips for getting more out of your therapy by learning how to REALLY communicate with your therapist.
#1: Take ownership of your therapy
It’s tempting to believe your therapist has all the answers, and it may seem easiest to let the therapist make all decisions about treatment. You might even feel afraid of asking questions or discussing concerns about your therapy.
Remember that therapists are human beings and have the same flaws as the rest of us. Therapy is a subjective process, and the therapist can only give his or her own subjectively colored opinion, which has been shaped by his training and life experiences. That viewpoint may not always be the right one for you.
As the “consumer” in the therapy partnership, it’s your responsibility to look after your best interests and to be an active participant in your therapy. If something isn’t working, it’s up to you to talk about it with your therapist. The message is clear: Take your therapist off the pedestal and take ownership of your therapy. Read the rest of this entry »