HELPFUL QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT WHEN CONSIDERING THERAPY
Embarking on the path of therapy is a courageous step toward self-discovery, healing, and personal growth. Here are some helpful questions you might wish to consider asking yourself as you consider therapy and prepare to embark on this journey. Incorporating elements of motivational interviewing, this guide encourages you to explore your thoughts, feelings, and motivations to make an informed decision about your therapeutic path. Remember that there exist no unequivocally right or wrong answers—only the uniqueness of your personal experience.
Why are you considering therapy at this moment?
Take some time to explore your motivations. What aspects of your life would you like to improve? Are there specific challenges, emotions, or patterns you'd like to address? Recognizing your reasons can help you set clear intentions for therapy.
What Are Your Goals?
Consider both short-term and long-term goals for therapy. What changes would you like to see in your life as a result of therapy? Goals can be related to your emotional well-being, relationships, personal growth, or any other area that matters to you.
Assess Your Readiness:
Are you ready and willing to commit to the therapeutic process? Change requires effort and openness. Are you prepared to explore your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors with honesty and vulnerability? Consider your current mindset and willingness to engage in self-exploration.
What Do You Expect from Therapy?
What are your expectations for therapy? It's important to have realistic expectations and understand that therapy is a collaborative process. Reflect on what you hope to gain from therapy and how you envision it helping you.
Explore Different Therapeutic Approaches:
Research different therapeutic approaches to find the one that resonates with you. Motivational interviewing encourages you to explore how various approaches align with your values, preferences, and goals. Are you drawn to cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based therapy, psychodynamic therapy, EMDR, Mindfulness or another approach?
Consider the Therapeutic Relationship:
The relationship with your therapist is crucial. What qualities do you value in a therapist? Trust, empathy, and a non-judgmental attitude are often key components. However, some prefer a directive approach, while others may simply want to feel heard and understood. Reflect on what type of therapeutic relationship would best support your growth.
It's common to feel ambivalent about starting therapy. Mixed feelings are natural. Explore both sides of your ambivalence: the reasons you want to pursue therapy and the concerns that might be holding you back. This can provide valuable insight into your readiness.
Assess Your Support System:
Consider the support you have outside of therapy. Who can you lean on during challenging times? How might your support system complement your therapeutic journey?
Therapy might bring up difficult emotions or confront past experiences. How prepared are you to navigate these challenges? Reflect on your resilience and coping strategies. How might you view challenges as opportunities for growth?
Consider your time and financial investment:
Embarking on a therapeutic journey involves an investment of both time and finances. Take a moment to reflect on your available resources for these commitments. Consider how often you can realistically attend therapy sessions, balancing them with your daily responsibilities. Reflect on your willingness and ability to allocate these resources to prioritize your mental and emotional well-being.
Take the First Step:
As you reflect on these questions, remember that the decision to start therapy is ultimately yours. When you're ready, take that important first step. Preparing for therapy involves self-reflection, openness, and a willingness to embrace change. Remember, therapy is a personal journey and you have the agency to shape it according to your needs and aspirations.
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"