How to Be an Active Participant in Your Mental Health Care


To call one’s mental health vitally important would be an understatement. Far too many of us neglect our mental health and wind up suffering consequences that range from severe depression to debilitating physical ailments. For the purpose of your continued health, it’s imperative that you quickly get a handle on any psychological afflictions you find yourself plagued by. Although therapists and other mental health professionals certainly have an important role to play in your treatment, they can’t be expected to do all the work. In order to truly get the most out of mental healthcare, you’ll need to put your best foot forward and become an active participant in your continued well-being.

Seek Out a Good Therapist

As anyone who’s sought therapy can attest, not all therapists are equally obliging. While some mental health professionals are perfectly suited to your personality and unique problems, others simply aren’t a good fit. When seeking therapy for the first time, it’s important to accept that you may not hit it off with the first therapist you choose. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t give a new therapist a fair shot, but if you don’t feel as if they’re truly in tune with you and your issues after several sessions, you are well within your rights to seek help elsewhere. In fact, if you clearly and politely communicate this concern to your therapist, you may find that they’re more than happy to recommend you to a more qualified colleague.

To help ensure that you wind up with the right therapist, do a little bit of research before proceeding to book your first appointment. For starters, try to limit your choices to therapists who specialize in the types of problems you’re dealing with. Secondly, look at testimonials and reviews from previous patients. Keep in mind that most therapists are liable to garner a bad review or two, but if you notice that someone’s unfavorable reviews far outnumber the favorable ones, you’d do well to move on to other possible names.

Don’t Get Hung Up on Being Liked

Many people who seek therapy struggle with feelings of worthlessness and fear rejection. These individuals constantly feel as if they’re unworthy of affection and go out of their way to be liked by others. Unsurprisingly, such feelings are often projected onto therapists, who some patients view as stand-ins for parental figures, friends or romantic partners. As a result, when they don’t receive the type of reciprocation they desire from therapists, such patients experience tremendous bouts of stress, anxiety and depression.

If you’ve consistently struggled with the feelings discussed above, not projecting them on to your therapist is liable to seem like a tall order. However, if you go into therapy expecting your therapist to be a stand-in for the previously mentioned figures, you’re unlikely to get much out of it. While your therapist should be fully committed to seeing you get better, it’s important to remember that they are a mental health professional, and you are their patient – not their friend, family member or romantic partner. However, if all goes well, therapy should provide you with the tools you need to cultivate healthy personal relationships in the future.

Fully Commit Yourself

As is the case with virtually anything else in life, you’re liable to get out of therapy what you put in. If you frequently miss sessions and blow off homework assignments from your therapist, you’re unlikely to see the type of progress you’re hoping for. Conversely, if you follow your therapist’s recommended treatment plan – and work with them on refining it – you may be surprised by how much you’re able to accomplish within a reasonable span of time.

If regularly attending in-person sessions is too much for your schedule, you may want to consider remote therapy. For example, Prairie State residents in search of remote mental health services should open up their favorite search engines and enter “online therapy Illinois”.

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