A Chronic Diseases writer provided tips in a recent article on how to best approach therapy in regards to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) recovery.
The following tips on how to get the most out of therapy are based on the author’s personal experience:
- Be engaged: To truly reap the benefits of therapy, you need to participate. Interact with your therapist and the process by asking questions, focusing on specific areas, and sharing the most difficult memories and experiences.
- Practice makes perfect: Talk to your therapist about what you can be doing in between sessions to aid your recovery. Remember, therapy requires more than just one session every week or two.
- Find your balance: Although therapy is more than just one session every week or two, it also shouldn’t be your sole focus. Take breaks and allow yourself time off in order to recharge.
- Be open to new things: Therapy comes in a variety of approaches and forms. Be open to trying a different or even non-traditional approach if it turns out your original route isn’t working.
- Get support: PTSD recovery is a challenging road. Build your support system and surround yourself with love, trust, and support. Your support system can be one person or 100 – just as long as you have someone to remind you that you are not alone in this journey.
- Set goals: Make your recovery process less overwhelming by setting smaller, more manageable goals. This will help you feel more in control.
- Build yourself up: It’s easy to feel down on yourself when you’re in therapy and low self-esteem is common for those with PTSD. Zero in on what elevates your self-esteem and sense of worth.
- Put yourself in the right mindset: Fill yourself with positive thoughts and energy. If you don’t believe you can achieve a full recovery, it will be that much harder to reach a sense of peace. Believe in yourself and in the potential you have.
- Specify what you want: In addition to making your goals manageable, make them specific as well. Instead of saying, “I want to feel better,” specify what can change that will make you feel better. “I want to stop having nightmares so I can sleep restfully.” By doing this, you can better track your progress as you works towards recovery.
- Take action: This relates back to Tip #1. Be engaged, take action, don’t be passive in the process. Continue to take action and build on your momentum.
Starting therapy is a brave step to take. Be proud of yourself for that and keep going!