Frequently Asked Questions About Brief Therapy

There are many reasons why individuals seek out therapy help. Those who have problems with excessive alcohol consumption, gambling, mental illness, or any form of addiction might reach out for professional help to find healing and recovery. 

There should be no shame in going to a therapist and hope for a better life. So if you are thinking of getting professional help for the first time, make sure to ask questions or clarifications about therapy.

There are many available forms of therapy. For one, individual therapy is a type of psychotherapy that involves one on one sessions with the patient and the therapist. Together, they go through the issues that the patient is facing. It is an effective treatment that helps develop healthy coping skills to deal with various stressors, emotional challenges, and mental illnesses.   

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Another form of psychotherapy is group therapy. It involves one or more therapists working with several people together. Group therapy allows individuals to feel that they are not alone in their struggle. It allows a safe space to share thoughts without judgment. Group therapy also enables individuals to receive feedback to improve their awareness of the self and the environment.  

Both individual and group therapy help people educate themselves and others about the recovery process and formulate goals for their future selves.  

If you find yourself needing help very soon and you’re financially unequipped to handle long-term therapy, brief therapy is a type of counseling for you. It is time-limited, usually lasts for six to twelve sessions. However, each session’s duration can vary depending on the problem at hand. Brief therapy focuses on clients’ presenting issues and current life situations. 

For your information, here are some frequently asked questions about therapy, specifically, brief therapy.  

How do I get the most out of group therapy?

Group therapy is an excellent method to gain various perspectives on a particular set of issues. However, like other therapies, you can maximize your gains from group therapy by putting in the effort and doing your work. Being open and having an open mind is one of the most important aspects of getting the most out of group therapy.

It’s often more difficult for us to see ourselves clearly than when we’re looking at other people’s situations. Openness helps you gain awareness of your emotional state while gaining greater insights from other people in the group.

How do you maximize a therapy session?

Any form of therapy requires time and money. Hence, it is essential to know how to maximize each therapy session to achieve your desired goal. It starts with choosing the right therapist for you. Because therapy is a collaboration, you should be comfortable opening up about your state of mind to your therapist. It will also help if you schedule each session to not lapse with other commitments to give the therapy your full attention.

Is it normal to cry at every therapy session?

Yes, it is normal and helpful to cry during therapy sessions. In fact, it is often a crucial part of the therapeutic process. We refer to this process as catharsis, which is a way of releasing repressed emotions in the form of tears. It helps you overcome and get over your issues and problems brought up during the therapy session.

How many sessions is brief therapy?

Brief therapy usually consists of around 6 to 12 sessions with time limits. The duration of each session and the therapy’s length often varies depending on the issue at hand. The therapist and client will determine the number of sessions together, along with the initial sessions.

What do you talk about in group therapy?

You can discuss numerous topics in group therapy to give you a chance to gain insights about yourself and others. Many group therapy people talk about the best and worst life moments, success stories, and past traumas. It’s also a space where you can educate each other about your recovery process and talk about your goals and dreams.

Group therapy discussions allow you to understand what it’s like to be in someone else’s shoes by sharing and listening. This process reduces feelings of isolation as you discover that you are not alone in your struggle.

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How do you facilitate a group therapy session?

Group therapy sessions must follow basic guidelines to make them efficient for the participants. It aims to make participants feel involved in a welcoming social circle. It’s important to incorporate fun and engaging activities in group therapy sessions while maintaining personal boundaries and private space.

Furthermore, since these sessions would involve the confrontation of sensitive issues, unexpected things may surface in the process. As a facilitator, you have to make sure that you can calmly handle behaviors that spark violence.

What is a process therapy group?

Process therapy groups usually consist of 5 to 10 individuals, where they can freely share their concerns and struggles. This therapy process’s primary focus is to promote interaction among members by sharing stories and contributing feedback and responses. Receiving these multiple perspectives and support provides an opportunity for developing self-awareness, which is crucial for growth and change.

How do you give feedback in group therapy?

Feedback is one of the best aspects of being a part of group therapy. If you want to give good feedback, make sure that you’re specific about which remark you’re responding to. Try to be as honest and direct as possible with your responses by providing concrete examples.

As much as possible, try to avoid giving direct advice to a person struggling not to make them feel unheard. However, it will help share both positive and negative feedback you have in mind while remaining polite.

What should I not tell my therapist?

The basis of therapy is to have a safe environment to share your honest thoughts and feelings—may it be good or bad. Note that everything you tell your therapist is kept confidential with certain law limits on required legal disclosure. Other than that, it will be helpful to open up to your therapist on whatever’s in your mind. You may be surprised at the things you will learn about yourself when you let yourself be vulnerable in your sessions.

Should I take notes during therapy?

While others may find it unusual, it’s actually helpful to take notes during therapy sessions. It’s hard to remember everything about a therapy session because it can be emotionally and mentally charging. Thus, some people find note-taking helpful in processing ideas, steps, and coping mechanisms. You can also write down your thoughts during a particular moment or write down questions you want to ask later on.

How do you approach a first therapy session?

During the first therapy session, the therapist will ask about your personal history and reason for seeking therapy. It will help them assess the current situation and come up with a tailored therapy process. To make your first therapy session fruitful, be open and prepared to talk about your feelings and problems.

Some people would write down a list of why they seek therapy to relay it clearly to their therapist later. It’s also vital to ask questions to make sure you understand everything accurately and to create realistic expectations about the therapy.

Can therapists hug their clients?

Therapists have professional training in the ethical guidelines involved in therapy. It is not appropriate for therapists to initiate hugs or other physical contacts with their clients in principle. Note that the client-therapist relationship is not personal but professional. Physical contact can deprive therapists of objectivity as professionals and may impair the therapy progress.

Is it OK to text your therapist?

Different therapists each have their own set boundaries around communication between sessions. But generally, texting your therapist is fine as long as it is task-oriented or related to rescheduling of sessions. You can also send your therapist a text message during crises for them to provide professional guidance outside sessions.

Do therapists cry in therapy?

In a study, around 72% of participating 684 therapists and trainees report having cried in therapy. It does not consider the duration and intensity of “crying” as shedding tears or tearing up. During therapy sessions, the crying of therapists is a subject that hasn’t been discussed and researched at large. The majority of therapists also report that they have no training in dealing with crying while doing therapy.

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Being open-minded to new perspectives and letting go of your prejudices about receiving professional help enables you to get the most out of therapy sessions. Although it may be hard at first, your willingness to undergo the recovery process can change your life for the better. 

Many preconceived notions about therapy can harm its effectiveness. It can also affect people’s enthusiasm to find healing and recovery in their problems. Whether you opt for long-term or brief therapy, you are the significant key in your progress. 

Therapy is a collaborative journey. Your therapists won’t heal you alone. You have to work together to build healthy coping abilities and responses to the stressors surrounding you. Therefore, you have to be committed to making a positive change in your life and sacrifice your time and other plans for your sessions.  

It’s essential to know how to get the most out of a therapy session since it requires your resources, such as time and money. Moreover, it will also help to achieve your desired goal more efficiently. Don’t be afraid of asking questions. Read materials about therapy to help you learn more about getting professional help.    

Another important thing to remember is to allow yourself to be vulnerable and become a part of a community. Holding back your emotions can only lead to repression, which will eventually find its way out of you one way or the other. 

Showing emotions doesn’t make you weak; it is all part of being human. Allow yourself to feel the emotions. Let go of the things that are holding you back and accept good things in your life. Through this, you can change your life for the better.