6 Signs You are Having Good Therapy Sessions

A happy wink is easier after good therapy sessions / counseling because of knowledge, skills, and self-compassion

This is for your curiosity and information and is also a list to which I can hold myself! The more of these you get in your therapy or counseling sessions, the better overall.

1. The counseling setting is secure, comforting, and not too distracting.

This forms a safe, shared space for two cooperating minds, not a space in which the therapist’s personality dominates. Even when working on serious matters, there is a sense you are in a partly real, partly imaginary ‘practice space’. The office, secure phone line, or secure online portal is where ideas, fantasies, new ways of being, and solutions can be tried out.

2. The therapist listens attentively and a lot, but not just zoning out.

In a good therapy session, they are taking in the flow of your story on multiple levels and are ‘catching your drift’.

3. When the therapist talks, it truly has something to do with the things you were just saying, but does note what you might be missing, avoiding, or in need of.

Good psychotherapists try to give you things you are ready for. They keep their ideas fairly close to what you said, rather than jumping to conclusions (even if the jump is correct!). When they do come to new conclusions to help you, therapists present them sensitively. They also show you how they got to their conclusion–they guide you step by step anyway, or can go back and put it together for you.

4. If any idea, discovery, method, etc., ‘tastes bad’, a good counselor will look for other ways to help.

Of course, if the issue is still very clear to them, they might return to it in a different way. If the issue is about safety, the therapist might be more persistent.

5. Ideally, you end each psychotherapy or counseling session with two or more of the following:

  • A feeling you were heard in a new way or more fully than usual
  • A feeling of relief or revitalization
  • Useful, new insights and discoveries you can digest and connect to
  • A loosening of rigid thoughts and routines and better definition of scattered or vague ones
  • Better connection to your emotions that helps, rather than hinders you
  • An implied or detailed plan for action

6. Longer-term, you should notice an increased ability to ‘think about’ (be mindful of) your thinking, emotional reactions, and actions.

This ability should get more and more flexible-yet-strong. It should also kick in quicker and quicker. Over time, you get better at tolerating and thinking about unknowns, rather than knee-jerking. That allows you to see past the anxiety of the unknown, and into its potential for hope and growth.

I hope this list serves you well. As always, contact me when you are ready to do some direct and dedicated work on what is important to you!

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675 W. Foothill Blvd. Suite 302
Claremont, CA 91711

drmichael@drchrismichael.com
(909) 766-2221

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