“My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.” – Steve Jobs
A good therapist knows how to manage the time in a therapy session well so that you, as the client and they, as the counselor, are able to get some good and meaningful work done! Goodtherapy.org makes this excellent and important statement: “At the beginning of therapy, many people are curious about what they need to do to make therapy work for them. They know that they will have to work in therapy to make it effective, but they often don’t know what that entails. Unfortunately, the unknowns of therapy cause some to feel that they’re just wandering and not making progress, or it causes them to leave therapy before they get to experience all the wonderful benefits. On a different end of the spectrum, these circumstances can also cause a person to stay in therapy too long and still not reap the rewards of good psychotherapy.”
Have you ever been on either end of these spectrums? Many people have. Time is a precious commodity and one of the things that we need to use wisely and to steward well in all areas of our lives. You are so brave to say “yes!” to a process that is meant to help you to become the best version of yourself, to heal from past wounds, and to improve your relationships. We want you to feel empowered as a client to have realistic expectations about the process as well as giving you an invitation to provide feedback to your therapist so that you can make the most out of your sessions.
A Therapeutic Hour
Here is the ideal time table for what we call the “therapeutic hour” :
– A therapeutic hour is actually 50-minutes in the room
– The therapy portion of the session is 45-minutes
– The first 5-10 minutes of a session are generally for check-in and determining the direction of that session. Make sure you use this time effectively. Let your therapist know what may effect your session that day and how you would like to use that time if that is unclear.
– The next 30-40 minutes are for working towards your goals. Open yourself to what God wants to do in you and dive in!
– The last 5 minutes of the session are for scheduling.
– The 10 minutes between sessions is for the therapist. This time is meant for note taking and planning, as well as preparing for the next session
– Most importantly: much, if not most, of the progress can actually happen in between session when you apply what you discussed and experienced in session!
Additional Therapy Session Insight
Another helpful article, The Therapeutic Hour (from www.susanlevitonmft.com) offers some other important things to consider when you think about the process of counseling and the time that is spent inside and outside of the room. She says this:
“Even though you are paying for one hour of time, therapists often spend a good deal of time working for you outside of that hour. Here are some of the things your therapist may be doing for you between sessions (please note that some therapists do charge extra for these activities and should let you know ahead of time):
Talk with you on the phone – respond to your emails – make schedule changes – call your doctor, your child’s teacher, a parent, etc. – consult with colleagues (without any identifying information—confidentiality is always maintained) – consult with an attorney on legal matters – purchase toys and games for children in play therapy -research books, websites, literature, and so on, for you – attend educational courses, seminars, and workshops -read books on an issue you are dealing with – bill your insurance company, call them, re-bill them, etc. or create super bills or statements for you -reflect on your last session and your overall treatment for more clues, insights, and ideas – and so on.
As you can see, client time is rarely limited to just 60 minutes. Being a therapist, like therapy itself, is an ongoing process and there is always something going on behind the scenes.”
The goal in presenting all of this information is in an effort to help you as you consider counseling for the first time. If you are already engaged in counseling, you might decide to have a conversation with your therapist about reassessing the way that you use the therapeutic hour, together, to be even more effective.
Our aim is always to help you to get the most out your money and time, when it comes to the therapy process! Please give us a call at 720-594-4469 or email us at [email protected] for more information about setting up an appointment or answering any questions that you may have!