Table of contents


9 min read

How to get the most out of therapy: 12 tips

Written by Klarity Editorial Team

Published: Apr 10, 2024

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Zoe Russell

Table of contents

If you feel like you aren’t getting the most out of your current therapy sessions, read on. This article provides actionable tips on how to get the most out of therapy. From finding the right specialist for your needs to tracking progress week-to-week, we cover everything you need to make therapy a worthwhile investment for your mental health and happiness. 

Ready to get the most out of in-person or online therapy? Find a provider on Klarity today and connect with a therapist equipped to help you thrive both in and out of your therapy sessions.

Below, find 12 helpful tips to help you get the most out of therapy and make sure you are staying on the right track along your path toward mental wellness.

1. Find the right therapist

Finding a therapist that’s the right fit for your needs and personality is crucial for getting the most out of therapy. Do thorough research to find a therapist who specializes in your specific mental health condition whether anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), ADHD, or something else. Check credentials, read reviews, and vet a few potential options face-to-face if you can.

Send an email or schedule introductory consultation calls where you can get a feel for their approach and communication style before committing to attending your first therapy session. Take notes of any signs they may be a bad therapist

It’s important for you to feel comfortable opening up to and connecting with this person, so trust your gut if something feels off. Invest time upfront in finding the right therapist so you can do deep therapeutic work together.

2. Take care of scheduling/logistics first

Before diving into therapeutic work, first handle any scheduling, insurance coverage, payment, and other logistics with your chosen therapist. Know their availability, fees, and parameters for rescheduling or remote sessions. Check with your insurance company to take advantage of any mental health benefits and get clear on copays or other out-of-pocket fees so you don’t have any surprise bills. 

Also ask your therapist about their cancellation policy and late fees. Sorting out the practical details ahead of time lets you both focus on the therapeutic process once sessions begin.

3. Be upfront about expectations

Don’t leave your therapist guessing — communicate any hopes, desired outcomes, or expectations you have for therapy early in the relationship. If you’re attending anxiety therapy and would like to be equipped with reduction techniques in 6 months, say that. If you hope to uncover childhood sources of low self-esteem, express it. 

Discuss whether your anticipated pace and goals are realistic. Getting on the same page regarding expectations prevents frustration on both sides down the line. Be open about what you want to achieve through your time together.

4. Remember to check in on your progress

It’s easy to get caught up discussing day-to-day issues and lose sight of the bigger picture when it comes to your therapy goals. That’s why it’s important to periodically check in with your therapist on your overall progress. Set reminders every month or 2 to pause and evaluate how therapy is helping you and whether you feel closer to your goals. 

Assess which techniques or discussions have been most effective. This exercise helps ensure you’re getting the maximum benefit from sessions over the long run. If progress has stalled, talk to your therapist about trying new methods or increasing the frequency of your sessions.

5. Apply in-session work to your life outside therapy

To fully integrate the insights and techniques you discuss in sessions, you need to put them into practice outside your therapist’s office. For each session, you come prepared with updates on homework assignments, thought journals, or behavior changes you successfully applied based on previous discussions. 

If you’re meant to be grounding yourself with meditation when anxious but rarely actually do, be honest so you can troubleshoot obstacles together. Talk therapy only creates growth when lessons are actively implemented in everyday life.

6. Consistently attend sessions

For therapy to be effective, consistency is key. Make attending your weekly, biweekly, or monthly sessions a priority, just like important doctor’s visits. Cancel only when necessary and give your therapist advance notice when you need to reschedule. 

Sporadic, inconsistent appointments make you lose momentum and continuity in the therapy process. Protect your dedicated therapy time slots and do everything you can to not miss or cancel, even if you’re feeling better (or not feeling better). Long-term progress requires diligence.

7. Take notes

After each therapy session, spend 10 to 15 minutes writing down notes on key takeaways, homework assignments, breakthroughs, lingering questions or feelings, and any other details you may forget over time. 

Keep these notes organized so you can refer back to important concepts and refresh your memory before future appointments. Your written record of each counseling session will help you keep track of insights and get the maximum benefit from therapy over months and years.

8. Remember your therapist isn’t your friend

While you may develop a close bond and feel comfortable confiding in your therapist, it’s crucial to remember they’re not your friend. No matter how much you open up to them, your relationship should always remain professional. 

Guard against overstepping appropriate boundaries. Don’t expect emotional support outside of sessions, make requests unrelated to your treatment goals, or share personal contact information. Maintaining ethical boundaries keeps you both focused on achieving your therapeutic goals.

9. Don’t be afraid to admit what isn’t working for you

If, after a few sessions, you find yourself not clicking with your therapist’s communication style or approach, don’t be afraid to speak up. Perhaps their approach isn’t the right fit, or the connection feels off. 

If you’ve given the relationship ample time but still aren’t seeing real progress toward your therapeutic goals, be upfront about your concerns. An ethical therapist won’t have an issue adjusting course or recommending a colleague if they can’t provide what you need. You know yourself best.

10. Track your progress and changes in behavior

Consistently tracking your progress throughout therapy can reveal tangible improvements you may not even notice day-to-day. Use a journal or app to monitor relevant metrics like a reduction in anxious thoughts, less reactive responses, or improved relationship communication skills. 

Note examples of applying what you’ve learned to challenging situations. Watching your behavioral, emotional, and thought patterns evolve through data makes your hard work in therapy more visible. Share your progress tracking with your therapist to inform your work together.

11. Keep the focus on your therapeutic needs, not venting

Therapy sessions are precious time to gain self-understanding and make positive changes — don’t squander them by venting about external circumstances or the behavior of other people in your life that you can’t control. 

Of course, you should discuss relevant relationships and situations, but keep the focus on your own responses, growth opportunities, and your goals for therapy. For example, rather than only complaining about a partner’s short temper, discuss building your conflict management skills. Keep the lens inward.

12. Leave a bad therapy relationship

In rare cases, you may find yourself in a truly poor therapeutic relationship that shows no signs of improving despite your best efforts to communicate your disappointment. If, after multiple sessions, you still dread therapy appointments, leave feeling dismissed or judged, experience no benefit, or even feel harmed, it may be time to seek a new therapist. 

Don’t continue throwing time and money at bad therapy against your instincts — you deserve a safe space for healing and becoming your most authentic self. Be empowered to find a counselor who’s right for you.

Connect with a licensed therapist and get the most out of therapy

You deserve to get the most out of therapy and to have a good therapist who meets your needs. The licensed providers on Klarity can help. 

Find a provider today.


TalkSpace, “How to Get the Most Out of Therapy,” Jill Daino, Feb. 20, 2023,

Choosing Therapy, “How To Get The Most Out Of Therapy: 21 Tips, ” Insha Rahman, Nov. 30, 2023,

Advekit, “12 Therapy Tips For Getting the Most Out of Sessions,” Alison LaSov, Jun. 16, 2020,

Subscribe to our blog for the latest health insights and updates

Join our community of health-conscious individuals and gain access to valuable tips, expert advice, and the newest trends in healthcare.

Related posts

All professional services are provided by independent private practices via the Klarity technology platform. Klarity Health, Inc. does not provide any medical services.
(855) 975-3008

PO Box 5098 Redwood City, CA 94063

100 Broadway Street, Redwood City CA, 94063

If you’re having an emergency or in emotional distress, here are some resources for immediate help: Emergency: Call 911. National Suicide Prevention Hotline: Call 988. Crisis Text Line: Text Home to 741-741
© 2024 Klarity Health, Inc. All rights reserved.