Why Is It Essential To Have Regular Reviews In Therapy?
Review sessions are used frequently across all forms of therapy; it aims to find out all about you and how you are getting on with the therapy sessions so far. This is also an excellent time for you as the client to discuss whether or not you’ve found methods helpful and how you would like future sessions to pan out. If you’ve read my previous blog post on ending therapy sessions, then you will already know that your therapist and you establish an ending plan from the start. To map out an end to treatment, it is essential to set clear, achievable goals to ensure both your therapist and yourself stay on track. Setting goals is a big part of reviewing each session as it is a reminder that these sessions are not aimless. In addition, you need to remember that therapy is a slow process and not something that can happen quickly; setting goals and review sessions is a great way to achieve goals and complete each session to the best of your potential.
It is important to remember that the purpose of a review session is not to judge your ‘performance;’ it is just a way of measuring your progress and understanding if you are happy with the progress you are making. Since the review is all about hearing your voice and opinions on your progression, it is also an ideal time to ask what you would like from future sessions and if there is anything you would like to change that may help you achieve goals faster. Review sessions are beneficial to both you and your therapist, as it is an exact time set out for communication wherein you can express what you both expect from one another. This also will help to reinforce a trusting relationship as you are both working towards the same goals.
If the thought of a review session worries you, you’ll be pleased to know that it is usually six weeks between each review; this means you can take some time at home to reflect on your progress and whether or not you are happy with it. Therefore, by the time the review session comes around, you will be fully prepared and achieve the most from this session. However, it is important to keep in mind that – like with all sessions- if something has happened in that week that needs discussing immediately, the review session can be delayed and isn’t on a fixed schedule. Despite having planned out a rough route for your therapy sessions in advance, both myself as a therapist and you most likely know that there will be diversions from this plan now and again as life issues arise that ought to be discussed whilst they are still fresh in your mind.
I know it might seem scary to some to tell your therapist that specific methods are helping or that you feel as though you are not making progress. However, this is normal, and everyone copes with different methods. Even if it is just one small thing that you are unsure of, it is worth telling your therapist so that they can strategise a new plan to help you. Remember, these sessions are for your benefit entirely; it is to help you devise the best coping strategies so that one day you will not require the need of a therapist. This is why review sessions are so important as you can vocalise if these strategies are working; most likely, if they aren’t helping you now, they won’t help you in the future when you are more independent.
However, if you are someone who can confidently voice their opinions on what is and isn’t working, then you may not even require review sessions. Some people are more vocal in expressing what is working for them, which may mean your therapist can adapt their methods throughout the treatment course rather than after a review session. There is no wrong way to do this; the paramount importance is verbalising how these sessions and coping strategies work for you to progress onto the final stages of your treatment.
As I mentioned previously, therapy is a process, not a one-stop cure for everything. All the best things in life take time, and that applies to your treatment as well. Setting goals and being honest in your review sessions is the best way to achieve the results you want, rather than feeling as though your therapy sessions are becoming aimless. If you are interested in starting your therapy journey with me, please head over to my website to book your appointment or read the ‘thoughts’ section on my website for more information and advice.