XOMU: Four tips for making the most of therapy
From nearly three decades of experience
I have an appointment with my therapist this afternoon; the same person I’ve been seeing since 2020. I’ve had a journey with therapists, going back to age 17. My first real relationship with a therapist began many years later, when a counselor was randomly assigned to me in my inpatient rehab unit. He turned out to be the perfect fit, and I’d go on to work with him for the better part of 20 years, transitioning to phone sessions when I moved from New Hampshire to Utah.
When things got really rocky in my last marriage, I transitioned to two therapists I found locally, because in-person sessions felt necessary given the circumstances. One was trained in Byron Katie’s The Work, and the other was a more traditional talk therapist. I saw both of them weekly for two years, usually alone but sometimes as a couple, right up until my separation. Once I realized the marriage was over, I attended therapy less often to focus on my life transition.
After my divorce was finalized, I didn’t want to see the same therapist my ex-spouse and I had visited together—it just felt like energy I needed to scrub. So I had a few interviews, and found a new therapist to start my life fresh—and I’ve been seeing her off and on ever since.
Having so much experience with therapy, I thought I’d share four things I’ve learned along the way that have helped me make the most of my therapeutic journey. (Note: I recognize there is tremendous privilege in being able to attend regular therapy sessions. I share resources for finding a therapist and various accessible options in this article.)