How to get the most from your therapy
therapy you have been referred for is known as Cognitive Behavioural
Therapy (CBT). This approach has been proven to be fast-acting and
effective in treating a wide range of problems such as those you
have been referred for. You will have been offered a set number
of psychological therapy treatment sessions typically required to
deal with problems such as yours. This handout will help you to
obtain the most benefit from your sessions.
is for ACTION
For your therapy to be effective you will need to be an active
participant, working together with your therapist.
You will be expected to work on your difficulties outside of the
sessions, for example, by doing ‘homework’ tasks,
such as keeping diary records of your symptoms and practicing
You will be encouraged to gradually confront your problems by
doing activities you may be currently avoiding, guided and supported
by your therapist.
The goal of therapy is to teach you ways of managing your problems.
At the end of your treatment you may find that you still experience
some mild feelings of anxiety. Provided you continue to apply
what you have been taught in therapy, further recovery should
is for BOUNDARIES
order for you and your therapist to work effectively together, there
are certain ground rules that you both need to stick to.
you can expect from your therapist:
To be seen promptly and that sessions will not be interrupted,
such as by telephone calls.
Typically, sessions last for between 45 and 60 minutes. Occasionally,
sessions will be shorter or longer, which your therapist will
discuss with you.
The frequency of sessions will vary, depending on your needs.
Generally, sessions are weekly or fortnightly appointments at
first. At a later point, they may be more spaced out to give you
time to practice the specific techniques or homework exercises
you have been set.
The sessions will be confidential. You will be asked to sign a
consent form authorising your therapist to provide brief feedback
to whoever referred you. Very occasionally, your GP may need to
be involved if, for example, you meet a crisis point, which your
therapist is concerned about. They will talk you through this,
but may wish to discuss some matters with your GP to allow you
to have access to the most appropriate support, and will required
your signed authority to do so.
Whilst it is important that you feel comfortable with your therapist,
they are not there as a ‘friend’. As a professional
person, they will help you focus on your problems and their full
attention will be on helping you to resolve your difficulties.
Don’t expect them to ‘chat’ about their own
will be expected from you:
Ensure that you attend sessions on time. Write down the appointment
details in a safe place to remind you. Arriving late or having
to leave early reduces the time your therapist has to help you.
Ensure that you attend all of your sessions, or as many as possible.
If you miss a session because you forgot or cancel late (i.e.
with less than 24 hours before your session time), you are likely
to lose the session, which could undermine your progress. Repeatedly
rescheduling appointments can also disrupt the progress of therapy.
Ensure that you will not be interrupted. Switch off your mobile
phone, and if you have children, make sure that someone looks
after them. Neither you nor your therapist will be able to work
properly if children attend the session. It is also generally
not a good idea to bring friends and family into your sessions,
unless your therapist specifically asks you to.
C is for COMMUNICATION
To obtain a positive outcome, it is important that communication
between you and your therapist is open and effective.
Your therapist will be polite, sympathetic and will give you time
to express your views and feelings.
Have some clear goals as to what you would like to achieve from
therapy and discuss these with your therapist. The therapy you
have been referred for is not to simply help you feel better about
yourself but to tackle specific problems that you are experiencing.
Your therapist will clearly explain what the therapy is about,
how it will help you and why, and what will be expected of you.
You will be taught specific techniques that will help you achieve
your goals, which you will be required to practice.
If you do not understand something or have any concerns, let your
therapist know immediately. If you feel unhappy with some aspect
of your treatment, the sooner you discuss this, the quicker the
problem can be dealt with.
Towards the end of your treatment, your therapist will discuss
the ways in which you can prevent relapse occurring when you have
finished therapy. In some instances, you will be given a programme
to continue working on after treatment has ended. Ensure that
you are clear about these issues before the end of your last session.
When your treatment has ended, you will be sent a confidential
client satisfaction questionnaire. It is very important that you
fill this in and return it to The Psychology Service because the
information helps us to monitor, maintain and improve on the quality
of the service we provide.
luck with your treatment – remember, making the most of your
sessions is as simple as Action, Boundaries, and Communication.