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M6L3 – How do I maximize therapy outcome? | Dr Jamie Barnier

M6L3 – How do I maximize therapy outcome?

MODULE 6 : Brief Introduction

  • Repetition and accountability
  • How do I know if I need more help?

LESSON 3

If you decide to undertake individual therapy, you will be making an investment of your time, money and emotional resources – so it’s important that you glean from the experience everything you can. If you have tried therapy before, but did not get the results you were looking for, spend some time reflecting on why that was (for instance, if you felt you couldn’t connect with your therapist – what about it made it difficult to connect? Were you keeping some things hidden? Did they somehow offend or upset you? Was it difficult to schedule an appointment time when you wanted? Once you are satisfied you were able to identify some of the reasons it may not have worked out before, consider how you can problem solve so these same barriers don’t pop up again. You can raise this with your new therapist so that they are aware and mindful to do what they can to assist you wtih this Some further tips are below. These are the same tips I give to many of my own clients

  • Consistency is key. If you want to run 20km but haven’t ran for 10 years, you wouldn’t rock up on race day and expect to do well! Ideally, you would have a training program with gradual increases in running distance. For therapy to have the best chance of success, it’s important that you have regular appointments. I suggest weekly or fortnightly (anecdotally, people I see less than this take a lot longer to get better, and some become discouraged in the process and give up on therapy). Over time, you can look to reduce frequency and then there will come a point when you feel you can taper off all together. These conversations are always best to have with your therapist.
  • I have had clients that tell me they’ve sabotaged previous therapy through “steering the therapist away” from the core root of their problem (for instance, they may have kept everything cognitive and avoided exploring, processing and working through painful feelings)
  • Others have said that in previous therapy, they gave the illusion of working hard, but in reality, only gave a 20% effort, hoping the therapist would be able to do all the work for them. Unsurprisingly, they did not the outcome they were hoping for
  • Others have continued on in therapy when they haven’t understood or gotten any benefit from the therapist’s techniques or interventions. Research shows that therapists are often poor at being able to pick up when something isn’t working for a client. Having the courage to speak up when something isn’t working, will help to steer therapy back on course or help you decide if that particular therapist is a good fit for you.