Written & Reviewed by
Gaston Molina
Published on
May 3, 2023

Gaston Molina

Medically Reviewed by Gaston Molina, Clinical Psychologist & Therapist

Unlocking the Full Potential of Therapy: How to Get the Most Out of Therapy Sessions

how to get the most out of therapy

While working for years as a therapist, I have seen by myself the real transformative power of therapy for those who are actually willing to see the change. However, for many patients, therapy can feel like a daunting or even mysterious process that never gonna work and worsen their condition.

We need to follow the rules of counseling to increase the effectiveness of it. A patient needs to believe in the therapy sessions that it’s just scheduled to improve their mental health and overall well-being.

I’m working as a therapist for years and have an experience with multiple clients with different mental conditions. Let me show you the proven tips and strategies that help you get the most out of your counseling sessions.

By using these strategies you can feel the real change and unlock the real potential of mental health counseling.

Let’s Discuss The Benefits of Therapy

Before discussing anything about how to get the most effectiveness out of therapy, it is very mandatory to know the proven benefits of therapy itself.

Mental health therapy is an advanced method of self-exploration or self-awareness and growth that can help you get the knowledge of your insight and control into your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

Self-awareness can assist you to find out and change behavioral patterns that are no longer in your favor and not providing you any feeling of peace, and developing new skills and coping techniques to manage life’s challenges.

Counseling can also provide a safe and impartial space to process difficult emotions and experiences in your life.

Therapy is essential and effective to treat a wide range of mental health conditions that include stress, anxiety, and depression.

By addressing these conditions, therapy can improve your overall quality of life and relationships.

Factors That Affect Therapy Outcomes

While therapy can be incredibly beneficial, there are also factors that can affect therapy outcomes. These include:

Right Therapist

Finding the right therapist for you is mandatory. You should feel comfortable and safe with your therapist, and feel that they understand your mental health conditions and goals.


Therapy requires active participation and a willingness to engage in the process of self-exploration and growth. If you are not motivated to make changes or are resistant to therapy, it may be difficult to see progress.


Consistency is always key in counseling.  Regular therapy sessions can help you stay on track and make progress toward your goals. On the other hand, canceling sessions or not showing up can hinder progress and decrease the effectiveness of therapy, and might worsen your condition.

External Stressors

Life stressors can also impact therapy outcomes. If you are dealing with significant stressors outside of therapy, it can be harder to focus on therapy and make progress.

How to Prepare for Therapy Sessions

If you want to get the most potential out of your therapy then it’s important you are prepared and ready for each counseling session.

Here are some tips you should follow to increase the effectiveness of therapy:

Reflect on Your Feelings

Take some time before each session to reflect on how you have been feeling and any issues or challenges that have come up since your last session.

This can help you focus your counseling session and make the most of your time.

Set Realistic Goals

Setting goals for therapy can help you stay focused and motivated. Talk to your therapist about what you hope to achieve in therapy and work together to set realistic goals.

Bring a Notebook

Bringing a notebook to therapy sessions can help you keep track of insights, coping strategies, and action steps discussed in the session. It can also be helpful to write down any questions or concerns you want to address in therapy.

Building a Positive Relationship with Your Therapist

Building a positive relationship with your therapist is essential for effective therapy. Here are some tips for building a positive therapeutic relationship:

Be Honest

Honesty is key in therapy. Your therapist can only help you if they have a full understanding of what you are going through. Be open and honest about your thoughts, feelings, and experiences.

Communicate Openly

Effective communication is essential for a positive therapeutic relationship. If you have concerns or issues with your therapist, bring them up in session so you can work together to address them.

Be Patient

Building a positive therapeutic relationship takes time. Don’t be discouraged if it takes a few sessions to feel comfortable with your therapist. Trust and rapport will develop over time.

Effective Communication During Therapy

Effective communication during therapy is essential for making progress toward your goals. Here are some tips for effective communication during therapy:

Be specific

When discussing issues in therapy, try to be as specific as possible. This can help your therapist understand your situation and provide tailored support.

Be Present

Try to be fully present during therapy sessions. This means avoiding distractions such as your phone or other devices and focusing your attention on the therapy process.

Ask Questions

If you have questions or concerns about what your therapist is saying or suggesting, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification.

Setting Realistic Therapy Goals

Setting realistic therapy goals is essential for making progress in therapy. Here are some tips for setting realistic therapy goals:

Be Specific

Set specific, measurable goals for therapy. This can help you track progress and stay motivated.

Be Realistic

While it’s important to challenge yourself in therapy, it’s also important to set realistic goals that you can realistically achieve.

Collaborate With Your Therapist

Work with your therapist to set goals that are aligned with your unique needs and goals.

Active Participation in Therapy Sessions

Active participation in therapy sessions is essential for making progress toward your goals. Here are some tips for active participation in therapy sessions:

Be Open

Be open to new ideas and perspectives. This can help you gain new insights and develop new coping strategies.

Practising Mindfulness

Mindfulness can help you stay present and engaged in therapy sessions. Try to focus on your breath and body sensations during therapy sessions.

Take action

Therapy is not just about gaining insight, it’s also about taking action. Work with your therapist to develop action steps and coping strategies to apply outside of therapy.

Applying What You Learned Outside of Therapy

Applying what you learned outside of therapy is essential for making lasting changes. Here are some tips for applying what you learned outside of therapy:

Practice Regularly

Practice coping strategies and action steps regularly to make them a habit.

Be Patient

Making lasting changes takes time and effort. Be patient and kind to yourself as you work towards your goals.

The Role of Self-Care in Therapy

Self-care is an essential part of therapy. Here are some tips for self-care in therapy:

Take Breaks

Take breaks when you need them. This can help you avoid burnout and stay motivated.

Get Enough Sleep

Getting enough sleep is essential for mental health. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.

Engage in Enjoyable Activities

Engage in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment. This can help you manage stress and improve your overall well-being.

Common Obstacles and How to Overcome Them

There are common obstacles that can arise during therapy. Here are some tips for overcoming them:

Lack Of Motivation

If you are struggling with motivation, talk to your therapist about what is holding you back. Together, you can develop strategies to overcome this obstacle.

Resistance To Change

Change can be difficult, but it is essential for growth. If you are resistant to change, talk to your therapist about your fears and concerns. They can help you address them and move forward.

External Stressors

If you are dealing with significant external stressors, it can be difficult to focus on therapy. Talk to your therapist about how to manage these stressors and stay on track with therapy.

When to Seek Additional Support

While therapy can be incredibly beneficial, there may be times when additional support is necessary. Here are some signs that you may need additional support:

Symptoms Are Worsening

If your symptoms are worsening despite therapy, it may be time to seek additional support.

Thoughts Of Self-harm

If you are experiencing thoughts of self-harm or suicide, seek immediate help from a crisis line or emergency services.

Lack Of Progress

If you are not seeing progress in therapy despite the consistent effort, it may be time to reevaluate your treatment plan and seek additional support.


Therapy can be an incredibly transformative process, but it requires effort and commitment. By following the tips and strategies outlined in this article, you can get the most out of your therapy sessions and unlock your full potential.

You just need to remember that therapy is a collaborative process, and your therapist is there to support you every step of the way. With dedication and hard work, you can achieve your personal goals and live a fulfilling life.

Gaston Molina
Medically Reviewed by Gaston Molina, Clinical Psychologist & Therapist

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