Therapy works best when you attend all of your scheduled appointments. The effectiveness of therapy depends on your active participation. It requires time, effort and regularity.
As you begin therapy, establish some goals with your therapist. Then spend time periodically reviewing your progress with your therapist. If you don't like your therapist's approach or if you don't think the therapist is helping you, talk to him or her about it and seek a second opinion if both you and your therapist agree, but don't discontinue therapy abruptly.
Tips To Help You Get Started
- Identify sources of stress: Try keeping a journal and note stressful as well as positive events.
- Restructure priorities: Emphasize positive, effective behavior.
- Make time for recreational and pleasurable activities.
- Communicate: Explain and assert your needs to someone you trust; write in a journal to express your feelings.
Try to focus on positive outcomes and finding methods for reducing and managing stress. Remember, therapy involves evaluating your thoughts and behaviors, identifying stresses that contribute to your condition, and working to modify both. People who actively participate in therapy recover more quickly and have fewer relapses.
Also, keep in mind, therapy is treatment that addresses specific causes of mental illness; it is not a "quick fix." It takes longer to begin to work than medication, but there is evidence to suggest that its effects last longer. Medication may be needed immediately in cases of severe mental illness, but the combination of therapy and medicine is very effective.
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