• Poonam Dutta (Satyamshakti)

How to Get the Most Out of Your CBT Sessions?


Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) may not cure your disorder or take away the unpleasant situation but it can empower you to cope with your health condition or unpleasant situation positively and make you feel better about yourself and your life. Here are the top 10 tips that can help you get the most out of your CBT sessions and make them effective.

Set Clear Goals:

Your primary therapy goal may be broad and general. So, as therapy continues, you should spend time reflecting on what exactly you wish to achieve from CBT. The more specific the goals, the better. You must set SMART goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. Setting clear goals helps to keep your therapy on track. Develop a Collaborative Mindset:

CBT is most effective when you and your therapist work together to find solutions that will work best for you. You and your therapist need to jointly agree about the major issues and how to tackle them. Together, you need to set goals and assess progress over time. That is why developing a collaborative mindset is critical for the success of CBT sessions. A collaboration mindset will help you become more open to sharing your thoughts and ideas with your therapist, thereby increasing the effectiveness of your CBT sessions. Be an Active Participant:

CBT aims to get you to become your own therapist by applying new skills and techniques to old thinking and behaving patterns. These are possible only when you become an active participant and keenly take part in decision-making. Be Open, Transparent, and Honest:

CBT works best when you maintain an open and honest approach to every session. To help your therapist get to the root of your problems and understand how you reached this point, you should be willing to share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences with them with total honesty and transparency. You should also be open to new insights and approaches. If you are reluctant to talk about some experiences that may be painful, embarrassing, or fearful, let your therapist know about your reservations and difficulty in sharing it all. Attend all Sessions:

Make sure you attend all CBT sessions for effective treatment. Skipping therapy sessions can disrupt your progress. Go prepared for each session and think ahead about what you want to discuss with your therapist. Make Notes:

Get the most out of your therapy by making notes before, during, and after CBT sessions. Before Sessions: Make a note of the points that would be helpful for you to discuss in your therapy session. Also, make notes of things relevant to your treatment, which occur to you during the week, and you wish to share with your therapist.

During Sessions:

Write down anything you find helpful, or you will want to remember that your therapist shared during the session. Also, make notes of any tasks set by your therapist for between sessions so that you don’t forget them.

After Sessions:

Find some time to make notes of your reflections on the latest session while the session details are still relatively fresh in your mind. Keep Patience and Stay Focused:

CBT requires patience while you and your therapist work together to address your issues and develop new ways of approaching problems. You cannot expect instant results as you may need several sessions before you begin to notice any improvement. You need to stay focused and stick to your treatment plan, even if you feel low or demotivated. Do Your Homework:

Working on psychological issues requires hard work and dedication. Doing your homework and completing assigned tasks between sessions will help you apply what you've learned in the regular CBT sessions. You will also have exercises to practise every day to form daily positive changes and regain your mental wellbeing. Maintain a Journal:

A journal helps to keep records of your thoughts, feelings, symptoms, behaviours, and physical sensations between sessions. During the CBT session, your therapist will explain different ways of journaling these attributes. You therapist may also provide various thought records and templates so that you can practise noticing your own patterns and tendencies and then work towards changing your thoughts and actions. Stay Committed and Be Willing to Change:

To get the most from CBT, you need to commit yourself to the gradual process that involves incremental steps toward a behavioural change. A therapist can only advise you, but they need your co-operation and willingness to change to help you improve your situation. For CBT to be effective, you must be ready to spend time and effort analysing your thoughts and feelings that impact your outward behaviour. The top ten tips enumerated above can help you make the most of your CBT sessions. However, if you think that the therapy isn't helping you and you are not benefiting from CBT even after several sessions, then talk to your therapist right away. Your therapist may decide to make some changes in the current approach or choose a different one altogether. If you are currently experiencing any mental health issues and need help, consult a qualified professional and CBT therapist like Poonam Dutta. Poonam is an experienced psychologist and licensed counsellor who can help you overcome your current challenges and live a happy and healthy life. Contact Poonam Dutta or call her at +91-8830824402 to schedule a private consultation today!

34 views1 comment