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Sweet biscuit sugar plum. Halvah chocolate bar jujubes. Dragée donut candy.

Meet Massy

One of the barriers people often report keeps them from seeking help is their hesitation about the effectiveness of counseling. The truth is that counseling is a collaborative process. While it is crucial that you find the right professional for you — ideally a person with whom you can establish a strong therapeutic relationship — it is equally important that you understand what your responsibilities are in order to make the best of your counseling experience.  Here are my top 5 things to consider:


  1. Readiness to work: Sure, a lot of what happens in counseling is “talking”. For me, I like to call it the art of processing and actively exploring your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. This in itself is not easy, it takes courage to dive in and unpack your darkest secrets, emotions, memories, and life experiences and to allow yourself to fully be vulnerable. But the processing that happens in the counseling session is only part of therapy. The work that you do in between sessions really matters. Whether this means a specific assignment given to you by your therapist or simply the ongoing task of self-reflection, introspection, and application of new learned skills, what you do outside the session will determine the amount of progress you make. 

  2. Commitment: This one is a no brainer. If you want to see some changes, you have to commit to the process. Once you have found the right counselor, get to work. Make sure you: schedule your appointments, attend set appointments, and maintain open communication with your counselor. Take initiative, be proactive, and take ownership of your healing process. This commitment not only with help you keep yourself accountable, but it will also empower you to take charge of your health.

  3. Honesty: This is expected in session, of course we understand trust grows with time. It may not be until a few sessions in that you feel fully comfortable to tell your counselor your deepest issues. That’s okay! However, understand that the more honest you are, the more you will be able to get from counseling. Be honest about your life, your problems, your thoughts, and emotions. Also be honest about how you feel in the the relationship with your counselor. Tell your therapist if something is wrong or if something is not working. Therapy is never about the counselor’s feelings, but about you! This is your time, your investment, and your energy. Being honest with your counselor should only lead to positive results. 

  4. Open-Mindedness: In counseling at times you’ll probably hear things that are difficult and hard to swallow. Your counselor will challenge you, confront you, and kindly push you to do things you may not be comfortable with. That’s part of the process. It is important that you are open to trying new things, discussing topics outside of your comfort zone, rethinking things in a new way,  exploring new ideas, and practicing new skills. 

  5. Patience: Know that this will all take time! It takes time for you to work on yourself, gain self-awareness, build new habits, and see progress. It is so important that you maintain realistic expectations. Unrealistic or overly negative expectations will make it difficult for progress to occur. Those who have realistic and positive expectations are more likely to be motivated to do the work needed to make progress and therefore tend to be more successful in counseling. 

That’s it! Did I miss anything? Got any tips of your own? Leave a comment! I would love to hear from you.




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