DOES THE THERAPIST EXPECT OF YOU?
This varies from therapist to therapist but usually you are expected to:
- Show up on time
for appointments. Unlike other doctors that may keep you waiting for an appointment
or that may accept you even if you show up late, a therapist has a specific
hour set aside for you. If you are late, then you are missing time that was
reserved for you. The therapist has no obligation to make the session run
late because you showed up late. Most likely, the therapist will have another
client waiting to start at the beginning of the next hour. The therapist should
not take telephone calls or attend to any business other than yours during
your therapy session.
- Cancel appointments
you cannot make in advance so the therapist can reschedule (usually 24 to
48 hours). Often a therapist will charge full-fee for missed appointments
that are not canceled 24 hours in advance. Insurance will not pay for any
part of missed appointments.
- Share your perceptions
and feelings as openly and honestly as you can. This involves taking the risk
of sharing your deepest fears and concerns--this will help you to make progress
- Actively work
on your issues with your therapist.
- Participate in
changing that with which you are uncomfortable. Some people come into therapy
with the attitude, "I'm here, now fix me." You are entering therapy
because you are uncomfortable with some aspect of yourself. The therapist
will not typically try to change you with greater effort than you are willing
- Complete any "homework"
which was assigned. These ‘opportunities’ offer a chance to integrate
what you have done in a session with life beyond therapy. Completing assignments
can actually speed up your healing and growing.
- Think about and
reflect on your therapy between sessions. Be ready to discuss things that
might come up between sessions. You may even want to start keeping a journal
of your experiences. You may also find that you have no thoughts or issues
related to sessions that arise between sessions. This is okay too.
- Discuss with the
therapist when you feel that you are finished with therapy BEFORE actually
stopping. You have put a great deal of energy into your therapy and it will
be important to bring closure to your therapy and to put a plan into place
about continuing to use your new tools and skills.
you follow these guidelines, you are not only living up to the expectations
of therapy; you are also putting yourself in the best position to get the most
out of the experience.