Getting the Most from Therapy: Allying with Your Therapist

If you’re receiving services for a mental health diagnosis, there a few things you should know about how to ally with your clinician to benefit the most from your treatment. This article seeks to help people carrying a mental health diagnosis benefit the most from therapy and psychiatric monitoring at various levels of care regardless of specific disorder or symptoms. As always, be sure to consult with your therapist and psychiatrist before implementing the skills learned in this blog in your living environment. 

Cultivating Trust between Patient and Provider
The therapeutic alliance hinges on a presumption of trust. The presumption of trust intersects with various aspects of treatment, and to benefit from your services, you should familiarize yourself with each one.

 
At the onset of treatment you will go through an assessment by your therapist and an evaluation by your psychiatrist. At this point in your relationship, you’ve just met one another, and, will need to as thoroughly as possible explain your clinical picture or why you are in need of treatment at this time. Trusting that your provider is formulating the right impression of your particular situation will not only reduce your stress level that treatment will be effective it will also help to reduce the likelihood of any adversarial feelings between the service recipient and the clinician. Accepting that your provider will never totally understand your situation because he or she isn’t on your personal journey is also important for several reasons. First, it puts the burden of knowing what you want to target in treatment on you, and, it serves to reduce feelings of being misunderstood by your clinician which serves to undermine the alliance altogether.

 
As the course of treatment unfolds, you will need to choose what you will report in terms of successes and challenges in your day to day life. Knowing what to disclose keeps sessions on point, and, it also speaks to how much you trust your provider to react to your reporting with interventions that are proactive and not alarmist. Simply put, trusting your provider to make the right judgement call in the end requires a level of trust between both service recipient and provider that is in the best interest of safety and supports your recovery towards your goals. In order for your provider to intervene successfully the presumption of trust must be established or your treatment will run the risk of being too restrictive or even negligent. In the end, accepting that your participation is vital to the success of your treatment is going to either drive you closer towards goals or keep you from missing the learning moments revealed through savvy reflection with your clinician during therapy. 

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