What to Expect from Therapy
We have all seen TV shows and movies that depict therapy as being the big comfy couch, the bookshelves stacked to the ceiling, and, of course, the therapist, sitting cross-legged with a clipboard and a pin ready to help you take on the world and tackle all of your problems. Are you ready to take on the therapy journey and be a part of the big, comfy couch crew? Have you been putting off attending therapy simply because you are stuck in the therapeutic stigma and simply do not even know where to start? Are you worried about sharing your feelings and emotions with a stranger and wondering if therapy is like seen in TV shows and movies?
If you answered yes to these questions, therapy may be the right fit for you. According to The National Institute of Health, It has been reported that 57.8 Million people in the United States are experiencing difficulties with their mental health daily. Therapy, still to this day, continues to demonstrate difficulty flourishing due to stigmas. These stigmas include "being crazy," "having something wrong with you," and "weaknesses." According to Forbes.com, 47 % of American people believe that having to attend therapy is a sign of weakness. Forbes also states that 27% of Americans have ever participated in therapy, which suggests a significant distrust of mental health professionals and a skewed understanding of seeking mental health services.
In this blog, we will cover what to expect from your therapy journey from start to finish. I **want to be able to break down the misconceptions and accurately highlight the therapeutic process to discard any misconceptions about therapy so that everyone can achieve peace and prosperity through their goals for tackling mental health difficulties, and being able to manage the life in which we healthily live on a daily basis.
How Therapy Works
Before therapy Starts: First, let's start with what to expect before therapy starts. People usually learn about a therapist either from a friend, by googling for one or from social media platforms. We suggest that you check out the prospective’s website ot see how you feel about the information provided. Once the appointment is scheduled withm your chosen therapist, before therapy starts, one should expect to fill out the necessary legal consent or Intake forms. The intake forms for therapy can include but are not limited to Consent and HIPAA forms, In person or online consent forms, Demographic forms, Office policies, Individual/family/couple assessments, and forms about payment. Therapy forms are required by law for the therapist to comply with codes of ethics and to ensure proper professional and therapeutic expectations in writing. Intake forms should be filled out ahead of time before your therapy session.
The Intake Session: During the intake session, your clinician should introduce themselves to you and also review your intake documentation. Your therapist should also focus on explaining expectations for therapy as well as any limits of confidentiality. During the intake session, an assessment is also typically completed.
The Assessment: Biopsychosocial Assessments are the most common intake session Assessment. Biopsychosocial assessments assess biological, psychological, and social factors that could impact your life positively and negatively. Biopsychosocial is important because The information gathering allows your clinician to personally prepare to attend to your specific needs throughout your therapeutic journey.
The Treatment Plan: Treatment plans can also often be conducted during the intake session. A treatment plan can often include but is not limited to, a mental health diagnosis and the goals that both the client and therapist collaboratively create to focus on in treatment. After establishing treatment plan goals, your therapist may also assist you with creating objectives to assist with knowing when your treatment plan goals have been completed on a quantifiable scale. Creating a treatment plan collaboratively with your therapist is important for knowing when therapy is complete and moving toward termination.
Intervention Phase: The intervention phase of therapy is where your therapist will utilize different interventions to facilitate change to resolve and complete your identified treatment plan goals. During this phase of therapy, it is common for your clinician to assist you with psychoeducation regarding your specific difficulties and self, soothing, and coping skills.
Maintenance Phase: A maintenance phase is achieved when you have found relief from what brought you to therapy, as such, the therapist will suggest to decrease the frequency of sessions so that check ins can be made. The goals of this phase is to make sure the client feels they can maintain the changes made on their own, but to have scheduled meetings to help fine tune things as needed.
Termination: Termination in therapy often occurs when the mutually agreed-upon goals have been met or achieved and can be identified by the client and therapist.
All in all, beginning therapy can be a scary process, but knowing what to expect can help you be more comfortable starting your therapeutic journey.
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