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group therapy multi-ethnic group of adults are attending a mental health support group. They are listening to one woman sharing her problems.

It saddens me to say but, I know a few people who have been in therapy for years (some decades) and, clearly, it isn’t working for them. I don’t know who is to blame for that—the therapist? The patient? Probably a combination of the two. A lot of people like to believe that, just by showing up to therapy, they’re making progress. That isn’t entirely true. Everyone has the ability to zone out, to block out what someone is saying, and to completely black out an interaction. Someone may listen to their therapist but, not really hear what she’s saying. Therapy takes work. It’s interactive. And often, the work you need to do on yourself doesn’t stop when you leave the therapist’s office—you need to keep her words in mind the rest of the week. If you’ve felt frustrated with your therapy sessions, it’s possible that you just aren’t doing what you must to make the most of them. Here are ways to get the most out of one on one therapy.

woman in therapy African American man listens to female counselor give him advice.

Find the right personality for you

Not every therapist is right for every patient. You know yourself, and that you tend to open up more to certain personality types than others. Don’t be afraid to shop around. You won’t offend your therapist. And if you’re worried about changing therapists for cost reasons, don’t be; there are tons of ways to find affordable therapy, and through one of them, you’re bound to find a match.

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