The first and most important condition for success of a psychotherapy is that the person seeking it actually wants it. For therapy to work, it helps if you’re motivated and willing to work on yourself and the issues that trouble you.
Once you decide to see a therapist, in order to see changes for the better in your life, you will need to slowly take the necessary steps. As you grow to understand yourself better and to see what is going on inside you and in your life, psychoanalytic psychotherapy, whether through face-to-face work or through online therapy, will help you immensely to discover the steps you need to take in order to make these changes. It’s usually not enough to see a therapist for things to get better. It helps, as you develop a deeper understanding, to be prepared to make decisions, sometimes difficult decisions and to set goals for yourself; slowly of course, and in your own time.
It’s helpful to think about what is being talked about in the therapy, in each session, during and after the session and not forget about it when you close the door behind you at your therapist’s office (or when you hang up on Skype, if you are doing online therapy). No doubt some things will stay with you, without you having to consciously think about them. A great deal of work is done in the background in and between sessions, without you consciously trying. However, if you can think about what was said, what made sense during the session and allow the thoughts and feelings it provokes to evolve inside you, outside of sessions, and if you have the capacity and opportunity to discuss some of these with people you trust, who will show respect both for you and for your therapeutic journey, then this can help you move forward a lot faster and a lot deeper.
Another way to hold on to the good work you are doing in therapy and so to maintain a level of continuity, both in the therapeutic process and in your life outside of therapy, is to keep notes after each session on what you are talking about,what you are seeing and understanding along the way. If you are not averse to writing, writing your thoughts, feelings and experiences after a session, even hours later, can be a great tool, because it helps you to organise your thinking and to assign words to these experiences so that they can be better understood and assimilated. Through writing, you may well find yourself discovering things that were missed in the session. You may be pleasantly surprised, even if the content of what you wrote is not pleasant. Writing can take you a step further and you can take your writing to the next session and talk about it with your therapist, which can enrich your therapy.
A lot of people find it incredibly fruitful to record, in whatever way possible, a particular encounter with another person. You can record your own thoughts and feelings during the encounter, as well as your perceptions of what ‘the other’ felt, said or did. There is always rich material in each encounter about your way of communicating with and experiencing yourself in connection with others. Take these records to therapy and talk about them. As an online therapist I often suggest this technique as a way to bring your life outside of therapy, into the therapy so that we can better understand what is going on for you from moment to moment.