Therapy is truly beneficial for your mental health. To ensure that you receive the most benefits out of a therapy session, you must consider the relationship you have with your therapist.
It may be that your care partner will need physical, occupational or speech therapy as part of an intervention to improve and maintain the quality of life for the both of you. While you may only visit your physician occasionally, therapy sessions usually go for many visits over a period of time.
The start of a great relationship with your therapist and ongoing treatment throughout the program requires good communication. To achieve greater results, here are 5 tips that will help to make this intervention a most effective experience for you and your care partner.
MAKE A LIST
Coming prepared is a great way to begin the process. So before you attend your first visit, make a list of relevant questions and concerns. Consider carrying a small notebook that contains questions/comments you may have. It can also be used to bring up changes as the program progresses. It is so easy to get home and say, “I can’t believe I forgot to share that information!”
There is no need to shy away from asking questions. Therapists appreciate questions as they know that a client-centered plan works best for everyone. For example, “What activities should we be doing between clinic visits?” Again, write down those questions in your therapy notebook as you think of them (recording the answers is also a good idea).
This isn’t the dentist’s office. You don’t have to bend the truth about your flossing routine and you don’t need to bend the truth about following through with the home program. Share with your therapist if the program does not seem to be working as well as you had hoped or that your care partner was not as cooperative in following the recommendations. Hey, it happens.
BE A PARTNER
Successful therapy outcomes are based on a shared team approach. During the initial evaluation the therapist will have asked you, “Why are you here? What do you want to achieve when the sessions are completed?” Successful outcomes are much more likely to occur when solutions are worked on together.
KEEP IT GOING
When the therapy sessions come to an end, the therapist will have provided a home program in order to maintain or continue to improve the activities specific to your lifestyle. “If you don’t use it, you lose it” are true words. It may be that your therapist can recommend additional programs within the community your care partner can utilize. And remember, if you see a decline, you can always give your therapist a call or talk to your physicians about a re-evaluation.
For more tips on how to communicate with health professionals, please visit washoecaregivers.org. You can also download the Guidebook here.