Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Managing Your Time During Session

Fifty minutes goes by quickly, and a lot happens in a week, so it can be frustrating when session has ended and you haven’t discussed all of the issues important to you. Of course, there is never going to be enough time to discuss everything, but it is important that what is most relevant to you is covered.

Here are some suggestions that may help you optimise your time with your therapist:

* Keep track of important events and feelings that occur throughout the week. Make some brief notes if you have trouble remembering details later, but do not put any lengthy descriptions on your list. Give yourself some time before session to review your important topics and prioritise which events you most want to discuss.

* Make notes during session. A lot of different thoughts will occur and a lot of conversation will be exchanged. If your memory is poor, which is common during emotional states, you may have trouble later recalling advice you had intended to remember or thoughts that came up but didn’t fit into the conversation at the time.

* Make a list after session of things you would like to discuss the following week. Review and edit this list before your next visit.

* Allow for developments. Don’t be too strict in how you want the session to go. Let conversations, relationship dynamics, and topics develop naturally and work on what comes up.

* Keep an eye on the clock. You may have to postpone one discussion in order to ensure another is given air.

* Recognise avoidance behaviours which waste time and alter ambivalence in order to get more work done.

* Don’t worry if you feel like you’re wasting your time talking about ‘trivial’ topics; a lot of therapy is in the how you address any topic. Use your time in session to practice healthy behaviours and challenge new thinking models.

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