How to Stay Motivated in Counseling

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While most hope that counseling will be an instant process for curing all of their ailments, this just isn't the case. Like most things, hard work often has to be applied in order to face your troubles and reach a happier state. Unfortunately, this hard work can be well hard for many, and oftentimes, it can make them want to give up entirely.

If you are currently in this spot, below are some tips to you can follow to help you keep going and make it to the finish line:

1. Make Your Treatment a Habit

Doing the assigned daily homework, reading the recommended books, and documenting your progress are all good habits to build while in counseling. To make these tasks a part of your daily routine, you should try and implement the Three Stages of Habit: reminder, routine, and reward. Set an alarm or make it a point to perform these tasks each day at a certain time or after you complete another specific behavior. After performing each exercise, be sure to give yourself a reward. Positive reinforcment will encourage you to keep it up even if the assignments become more difficult in the future.

2. Set Goals & Update Them Regularly

Anything can become tediuos and mundane if you stop challenging yourself. Make it a point to set a new goal for each new counseling session. This will give you something to work towards and will encourage progress in other areas of your life that you are hoping to change.

3. Be Honest

You will only hurt yourself by lying during sessions. Your counselor is under strict client-therapist confidentiality so you don't have to worry about them revealing your thoughts, unless you are a danger to yourself or others. When you talk as openly and as honestly as you can, your therapist has more knowledge to base your treatment on. They will be able to recommend more specific goals and tools you can use to accomplish them.

4. Ask for Feedback

It is not always clear to the person in treatment that they are making progress. So, in order to get a better idea of where you are, it is always a good idea to periodically ask your friends and family. Ask them specific questions related to your goals. For instance, if you deal with anxiety, maybe ask if they've noticed you going out more or taking initiative to speak with more people you may not know. Getting this kind of direct feedback will make you see more of your accomplishments.

5. Celebrate Successes

Being aware of the progress you are making is a great motivator to keep pushing yourself to go on. However, you shouldn't just nod at it and start working on the next goal. Celebrate the changes you've made and how far you've come. No matter how small, it is a victory and proof that your counseling treatment is heading in the right direction.


Posted in Counseling on Jan 10, 2018

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