Over the years, I have found that clients with certain attitudes move more swiftly and effectively in their therapy journey than others. So, I wanted to share the 7 things successful therapy clients do – so you can benefit from it, too!
This is something I explain to all potential clients, so they know what to expect and what they can do to make their sessions more effective.
Read on to find out the 7 things all my successful clients do to ensure they get the best out of Solution Focused Therapy.
1. They attend sessions
Obvious right? Not always, it seems. Making a commitment to attend sessions must be made a priority.
In your busy lifestyle, something may need to give. If you tell me that you can’t find the time as you’re working long hours, you have Zumba on a Tuesday and you have a book club every Thursday, then therapy won’t have much of an effect.
My successful clients prioritise their sessions, they keep an organised diary and attend on time, every time.
The great thing is the sessions are enjoyable so it becomes part of their self-care routine. They look forward to sessions, it’s not supposed to be a chore. But they make sure they have the time to invest in their own wellbeing.
2. They are prepared for every session
As I work solely online, I have no control over your environment. I have to trust you to ensure you have a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed so that you can focus on the work we do together.
My clients lock doors, switch their phones and work laptops off and give clear instruction to family, friends, children and pets that they are NOT to be disturbed for that hour. Headphones aren’t essential but they can help with concentration.
They have a comfortable space to relax and focus. They will make notes, bring along questions they may have prepared and be fully dedicated to the session.
3. They listen to their relaxation recording EVERY night
The only ‘homework’ I insist on during your course of sessions is to fall asleep to my 20-minute relaxation recording every night. And my clients that empty their stress bucket the quickest do this without fail. This is your only homework in Solution Focused Therapy.
They make no excuses that they can’t get it to work or that they forgot. Instead, they persist with it. And as a full stress bucket causes sleeping problems then they may have to listen to it a few times in one night.
Some clients use it for naps and relaxation in general as well as sleep. You can’t overdo it so, they accept it as part of their bedtime routine.
4. They think about their session
Often, significant realisations will come to you not in the session itself but during the week when you’re getting on with your normal daily routine. My clients bring those realisations back to the sessions to discuss.
And that means that they have been thinking about the work we’ve been doing. Deep analysis isn’t required but I do ask clients to carefully consider what we’ve been talking about in each session.
There is a lot of content and learning but I’m always happy to go over things and answer all your questions. What you need to do is absorb it and take time to think about it.
5. They know it’s not magic
This is probably the most important of the 7 things successful therapy clients do: You have to put in some effort and meet me halfway.
My clients understand that it is a collaboration between the two of us that creates the change. I am here to help but ultimately you have to take some responsibility and try to act on what I teach you.
I make this easier by helping you feel better. But I don’t have a magic wand to fix things – and I wouldn’t want to. Only you know how best to do that and once your stress bucket begins to empty, you’ll be able to see this more clearly.
6. They always want to know more
As part of my signature course, I send my clients relevant Ted talks, podcast and articles. I also send them books that I think will help them in their recovery.
As I talk a lot about brain science, my clients begin to get more and more curious about understanding how their brain works. And this helps them to feel more and more empowered to take control.
I strongly believe knowledge is power and if you want to create change in the brain then you need to understand how the brain works. My clients love getting curious and researching this more. And towards the end of their 10-week programme, they begin to send me resources that they have found as well.
7. They accept the intensity of their issues
If you want a hack or quick fix to get over anxiety, depression, a phobia or fear, then I’m probably not the therapist for you. I don’t bandage things up for a bit and send you on your way.
My clients tend to understand that although they may have a phobia or fear, it is only a symptom of generalised anxiety across a lot of other parts of their life. Often symptoms will alleviate almost immediately, but sometimes it can take a little longer, so you have to be patient and trust in the process.
My success comes from the fact that I aim to empty your stress bucket for life, not just shift your fears elsewhere for a short period of time. Long-term benefits are what I look for and this occurs best when you are completely on board.
This list is not meant to be overly demanding. But I think it’s useful to know what 7 things successful therapy clients do. This way you can decide for yourself if (Solution Focused) therapy is a good fit for you.
If you think you’ll find any of this difficult, then it doesn’t mean therapy isn’t for you or that I won’t see you. But it might help to know what you’re committing to – and it’s so, so worth it.
In fact, I always say at the end of my signature course that I want you to go away and forget you ever had to come and see me. Because that problem you once had just isn’t a problem anymore.
My clients always thank me for my help but I am always left humbled because I believe that it’s really down to their hard work and commitment – I only stand beside you for a short while, tapping you on the shoulder, and keeping you going in the right direction.