The classic hour-long therapy session works in a lot of situations, however, it isn’t the only way that therapy can be delivered.
With Shift’s most recent partnership with Maple, we are excited to be offering 25-minute long sessions over video when you need it the most. This new form of therapy will hopefully be more convenient and approachable to people who find hour-long sessions to be too cumbersome.
With on-demand sessions the focus is on quality over quantity. But how can you make sure your session is high quality?
Follow these five strategies to get the most of your time!
1. Plan ahead
Prior to your session, think about what you want to cover. Spending the first ten or fifteen minutes making small talk while you consider what you want to talk about will cut into the time you have to actually dive into the issue.
2. Focus on one issue
While it can be tempting to try to talk about many related issues, on-demand sessions work best when you are able to identify a specific area to focus on. For ideas and examples of common topics addressed in on-demand sessions see this article on “What Can Be Tackled in 25 Minutes”.
3. Set an agenda
Now that you’ve planned ahead and identified a key issue to talk about, it’s important to communicate this clearly to the therapist at the start of your session. By being direct at the onset you can make sure you focus on the issues that matter to you the most.
4. Focus on the now
When possible, try to focus on your current situation, rather than your past experiences. Remember that your therapist is trained in short-term counselling and should be able to make sense of your story without needing extensive detail about your childhood or past experiences. Feel comfortable giving some information without detailed stories. For example, it can be helpful to say, “my parents’ divorce was very hard on me and I think it contributes to my issues with intimacy” or “I feel nervous with my team at work and believe it relates to being bullied in high school”. From there, you’ll be able to focus on your particular struggle today and how to best cope or address your concern.
5. Feel free to take notes
Anticipating there will be a lot covered, some people find it helpful to take notes either in their session or immediately afterwards. This will allow you to hold on to key insights you gained or helpful advice you received from the therapist.