Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Obtaining the Maximum From Your Sessions

Successful outcome of your therapeutic sessions are dependent on a number of factors. While it may be obvious that a therapists skill, expertise, years of experience, place of study, willingness to consult with experts and his/her personality all have an effect on your therapeutic process and outcome, an area often not thought of or acknowledged is the role and responsibility of the client or patient. Let us take a look at what you as a client can do in order to obtain the maximum from your therapeutic services / sessions.

The first step is to acknowledge there is a need for intervention. Once this has been identified, a search may begin for the appropriate therapist. This can include requesting a referral from your doctor, asking friends, relatives and community for recommendations, calling therapists in local listings. For the sake of this post, let us presume you have found a therapist and begun sessions. Though there are times it is necessary to obtain a second opinion, the first place to begin in assisting effective outcome of your sessions is to keep your sessions contained to between you and your therapist. That means that unless you have a homework exercise or task that includes discussing the content of the session with another, it is preferable to keep quiet. 

How does this help, after all you may know someone who knows someone who knows someone who can either validate or add to or alter your session, how will you know unless you discuss what is transpiring with everyone you meet?

One of the first key goals in effective therapeutic intervention is developing a strong and good interpersonal relationship between therapist and client. Just as the therapist needs to keep the content of sessions confidential, it is good practise for the client to trust the process with the therapist they have appointed. In the event you come across a difficulty or question, take that back to your therapist, chances are it will lead to the next phase of your process or provide useful information that the therapist can factor into your therapeutic process. In the event that the therapist does not know what is needed in order to assist you with your difficulty, a good therapist will either research from the professional literature, ask his or her supervisor or a colleague with more experience or will recommend a referral to a colleague. In this case the therapist is involved in any decision to include another health professional and this enables teamwork to take place.

In the event that the client begins sessions yet checks out everything s/he is working on with all s/he meets or talks to, the end result is that all the "good" advise from well wishers can lead you in a thousand different directions, cause you to doubt what you are doing leading to confusion and feeling overwhelmed with the possibilities. In addition, many that one may come across, offer advice based on something they read, or something they heard from someone who heard it from someone who heard it from someone, hence their well meaning advice is often not based on professional training and expertise. While there may be times that this well meaning advice can provide an idea not previously thought of, in the writers experience, it more often results in clients undoing progress made in sessions and hence needing longer time to obtain the required effect.

For this post, the tip for the week is keep your questions related to your therapeutic sessions to ask from or of your therapist. If s/he is not able to answer them, then together you can consider the appropriate action to take. This is a responsible approach and gives respect to the therapist you have chosen to work with. In addition it prevents you from becoming confused and doubting the process you have chosen to work with.

If you have other questions as to how you can improve your role of the client / patient in order to obtain the maximum from your sessions, ask your therapist, you may be surprised by the answers given. You will also be opening the door for improving and strengthening your therapeutic relationship with your therapist and in so doing enhacing your sessions and the outcome. By being honest with the therapist, you will obtain a good yardstick as to whether the therapist has the skills required to assist you. Once again, a good therapist will refer you to someone better suited to working with you in the event that they are unable to assist you to meet your therapy goals. This is part of the code of ethics for therapists, certainly for Occupational Therapists.

Remember the main goal of occupational therapy is to help you to become independent in all areas of your life.


Shoshanah offers private consultations both individually and in groups.

Consultations are available in person, via email correspondence, Skype or telephone.

To book a consultation, talk or workshop with Shoshanah, please contact her via her website or email.

Shoshanah is in the process of developing a very special Healing Centre.

Shoshanah has a number of other blogs filled with valuable life skills and information. See:
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