There are some interesting things to know about therapy. The client(s) and the therapist both have important roles to play so that the therapy outcome is productive. I will go into individual responsibilities further below.
The therapeutic relationship is extremely important. The client should feel comfortable, safe, and in a respectful environment. The client should feel that the therapist is trustworthy, listens, gives helpful feedback, and that they are actively working towards achievable and realistic goals. The therapist also has the right to feel safe, comfortable, and respected. Together the client and therapist should have a positive working relationship during which they can hopefully speak about all issues, including uncomfortable ones. It’s important that you feel the therapist is likeable and trustworthy. You can not force a therapeutic relationship with someone your not comfortable with.
The Clients Responsabilities Include (but are not limited to): To be open to the therapy process. To speak honestly with the therapist about how they are feeling. To understand that it’s normal if things get worse before it gets better. Therapy can be fairly time consuming. Therapy is most beneficial when it is routine and consistent on either a weekly or bimonthly basis, depending on the need. Therapy is hard work and can be emotionally fatiguing following the session. Therapy can trigger unpleasant feelings, memories, and thoughts. However the goal is to work through and process those feelings and work towards positive change. You get out of therapy what you are willing to put into it. My expectation is that you place as much effort into therapy, as I do. My preference is that you place more effort. Change is not an easy process. I do not believe that real change can occur in a few sessions. The change process takes commitment, hard work, persistence, failures, learning from the failures, accepting responsibility for your behaviors, gaining insight into the underlying reasons for maladaptive behaviors, and responding differently in the future. Probably not what you were expecting to read.. but this is hard work.
Therapist Responsabilites (Include but are not limited to): To be a nonjudgmental and trustworthy person to provide skills to help you work towards your goals. To provide the availability of routine treatment. To keep your information protected and confidential. To provide appropriate assessment (testing as needed) and treatment diagnosis. To develop treatment goals and ways to achieve these. To educate you about the issues that you are coping with. To teach you multiple ways to cope. To increase your awareness and insight into your symptoms and what is impacting them. To ask the right questions at the right time, so that you can find the answers. To guide you when you are feeling “stuck.” To try to keep you safe. To see the bigger picture and how it may be impacting your life. To encourage you to make healthy choices. To provide you with as many resources as possible to be successful. Those are just a few!
The time you spend in effective therapy is quite minimal to the significant long term impact that it can have on the rest of your life.