How to get the best results out of therapy/coaching?

The profession I’m in does not give any tangible thing for your money. Once you learn & practice the skills taught, you will be able to gain anything you want. As a therapist/coach, I help people manage their behaviour so they can move towards the life they desire. I sometimes help them start doing something or stop doing something (that could be cognitive or physical behaviour).

Often time I reflect, Which clients get the best results? Who gets the most bang for their buck?

Whether you are with personal trainer, psychologist, dietitian, or doctor, here are the qualities that I think gives you best results

1) Commitment

They are committed to the process of coaching or therapy. Clients who are shifting their appointments frequently are mainly not committed to the process. “I’m doing okay this week so let’s meet next week” or “I’m stressed out so I’ve to meet now” Sometimes I see clients outside of normal hours, if I feel they are committed and have genuine reason for rescheduling. They are in it to win it.

2) Seeking Improvement

They know it’s a marathon and not a sprint. The behaviour, stress, anger, sadness has been increased slowly, so to go towards the life enhancing behaviour things will take time. The process is slow & steady increment, not a miraculous cure to give you overnight results. Those who are expecting improvement rather than perfection do well. People who are looking for short cuts and quick fixes do not do well with any professionals. You’ve to give time to everything to make it robust improvement.

3) Willingness to try

People who has openness to listen and try new ideas do very well. You don’t have to know everything about psychology, just try what is suggested. When we are changing anything, things do get challenging. If you are not willing to try new techniques, things will not change. Think about therapy as school, where you will learn all the techniques but you will implement them at work or business. Therapist will provide you skills but at the end of the day you’ve to practice/try them.

4) Hard working

The clients work hard to achieve the goals established at a session. They spend their between session time to practice and improve the skills they’ve learned. If you believe by just going to the session will change things for you, it’s a myth. You don’t have to become perfect at the skills but you’ve to try them consistently.

5) Seek clarification

Those who seek clarification of the concepts, actions or behaviours of the therapist do well. If you didn’t like the way the therapist explained something or told you, you should raise it with him/her. If after trying few times, somethings are not working please raise it with the therapist. By raising your concerns and discomforts will reduce the therapeutic time and build a stronger understanding between the two. It’s better to clarify then leaving the session thinking, ‘that therapist didn’t get me, I need to find someone else’ or ‘therapy doesn’t work’.

6) Clarity

Clarity is something very essential to get faster results in therapy. Having a goal of “I want to be happy” is not clear enough, having a goal of “I want to stop fighting with my spouse” or “I want to stop getting angry at my kids” or “I want to stop emotional eating” is better. Normally in first session I spend time to understand the history of the problem and clarify what brings them to me. At the end we have measurable behaviour goals that can directly improve their action and satisfaction.

Not everyone can bring all of the above qualities to the table, although the more you’ve better & quicker results you’ll get. At the end I believe, it is the job of the therapist to help client increase/gain the qualities for better results.

Mrugank Patel
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