As the stigma surrounding discussions of mental health diminishes, more and more people are seeking talk therapy as a way to combat their inner demons. Which means you have more competition when it comes to showing your therapist why you should be her favorite! These seven simple tips will help you get the most out of your time with your therapist, and by that, we mean ensure that she likes you the best.
1. Don’t cry in her office.
The number one rule for making your therapist look forward to seeing you every week is DON’T CRY IN HER OFFICE. Just because she’s trained to deal with human emotion doesn’t mean she wants to see your ugly-cry face for 45 minutes every week. Be cool and tamp it down, even if she prods you to open up. You’re don’t want to be a crybaby like those other pathetic losers she treats!
2. Ask her how she’s doing.
When you get to your therapist’s office, do you immediately plop down and start blabbing about yourself? Rude. This is what she gets all damn day. Show her you’re not like all her other patients and ask her about her own life: where she lives, who she’s dating, what’s bothering her right now. This will let her know that you think of her as a person, and not a sounding board that wears comfy sweaters.
3. Avoid the dreaded overshare.
This combines the messages of the first two rules: Don’t give in to the temptation to tell her every little thing about yourself, especially if it’s something that upsets you. We know what you’re thinking: “Isn’t the point of therapy to be to work through your feelings and get it all out there so you can be more emotionally healthy?” Well, sure, but becoming her favorite patient will make you SEEM more emotionally healthy, and that’s what counts, right?
4. Bring your own tissues.
Look, nobody’s perfect: Sometimes you’ll slip up and cry in her office, like if you just found out your boyfriend hates your cat or your mom saw pictures of you in a miniskirt and texted you bible verses about modesty. But crying is no excuse for acting like a sad slob. If a few tears do slip out, PLEASE do your therapist a favor and cry into a tissue. And not hers, either—your own box that you brought just in case. Not hogging her supplies will show her that you care about her and are cool. This woman doesn’t want your snot and tears all over her Puffs Plus Lotion!
5. Compare her to your mother.
Do your therapist’s gentle reminders that exercise is good for depression bring to mind that time your mom reminded you that maybe eating that pint of Cherry Garcia wasn’t going to make your high school boyfriend un-cheat on you? Let her know! She’ll appreciate the comparison and like you more than her other patients who don’t have as good a connection with her. Maybe even ask her if she’d be comfortable with you calling her “Mama”. Therapists love nicknames!
6. Actively work to improve your life.
At the end of the day, your therapist is trying to do her job, so if the two of you work together to set concrete, positive goals, and then you reach them, she will feel good. She might use your success as an example for other patients, which is objectively how you win at therapy. But be sure to throw some wrenches in there so you don’t become so healthy that you decide to stop going to therapy, because that would mean you’d stop giving her money, and then you definitely won’t be her favorite anymore.
7. Ask her to hang out!
Once you’ve established what an excellent client, friend, and all around woman you are, invite your therapist over for dinner sometime—maybe even to your family’s Thanksgiving dinner! Not only will she be touched by the gesture and conclude that you’re her favorite patient, she’ll get to see the way your mom talks to you IRL so you’ll have plenty to talk about at your next several sessions! Remember rule #1, though, and if you really need to cry, do it in the bathroom like you do every year.
If you follow these simple tips, you’ll be able to rest easy in the waiting room, content in the knowledge that you are the favorite and they can all suck it!! You are the most emotionally stable of them all!!!!