Effective Communication During Therapy

Written by Trisha Bhullar


Therapy is the process of healing through communication. But communication isn’t the easiest thing to do. That’s why effective communication could completely change your therapy experience.

What is effective communication?

Effective communication is about going above and beyond basic communication. On one level, it means communicating in a way that allows you to convey what you mean. But on top of that, effective communication is also about relaying intentions and emotions. That’s what makes it so important during therapy. Your therapist doesn’t just want to know the happenings of your week. They want to know how things make you feel and why. It’s only when you effectively communicate this that they can truly understand and advise you. And at this moment, you’ll be able to maximise the benefits you reap from your therapy sessions.

Why don’t we communicate effectively?

If effective communication is so important, then why is it relatively rare? Effective communication can be blurred by a lack of focus or negative emotions. The second case is particularly common during therapy sessions. You might feel upset about what you’re talking about, thus muddling your words or tensing your body up. This can mess with both your verbal and nonverbal communication.

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Effective communication for therapy

#1 Take notice of your nonverbal communication

Effective communication doesn’t start or stop with your words. One way to help effectively communicate with your therapist is by staying aware of your body language. Take a moment in your conversations to consider your posture, stance, and gestures. Then consider if they match with what you’re trying to convey. This might seem unnatural at first, but over time, your body language will better match your emotions and help you communicate effectively to your therapist.

#2 Control your emotions

Therapy includes touchy topics that could make you get emotional. However, these emotions could make it difficult for you to effectively communicate during therapy. You might stutter, lose your train of thought or simply be unable to verbalise how you feel. Instead, control your emotions and try to be objective about the topics at hand. Walkthrough your thoughts step by step and approach each issue as it comes. As a result, you’re less likely to clump your problems together and internally panic, leaving your therapist confused as to what is going on. This will help you stay calm, cool, and collected. And at the end of the day, you’re more likely to communicate your feelings effectively to your therapist.

#3 Use communication tools

We understand that effective communication might not be the most intuitive skill to have. That’s where communication tools come into the picture. A Timeqube, for example, is a mindful timer that changes colour with the passing of time. It’s a simple, seamless tool that can help guide your therapy sessions and signpost when you should steer the conversation. Introduce this tool to your therapy sessions and it can act as a nonverbal communicator of where the conversation should be going according to how much time is left. It’s these small improvements that can go miles in improving your therapy sessions and as a whole, your mental health.