Talking Therapy is a form of treatment that can help to improve the mental health of all those who try it. There is a lot of evidence to suggest that talking therapy is a highly-effective intervention in mental health.

But unfortunately, not everyone finds that talking therapy improves their mental health. While therapy can prove hugely valuable to many people, it is not the same for everyone.

Therefore, to maximise the chances of success, there are certain areas, behaviours and attitudes that patients can take to therapy. This article looks at these various elements.

Begin early!

We cannot stress the importance of not putting off therapy. If you are struggling with your mental health, then act immediately. There is simply no point in trying to brush aside your symptoms – they will only get worse.

Unfortunately, in many cases symptoms will get worse over time. This is especially the case with more severe disorders like Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.

Therefore, by starting therapy at an early stage, it will give you ample opportunity to get better quickly, and give you a chance to tackle problems head on. After all, the sooner you try to get better, the sooner you’ll feel better!

Attend regular sessions

This may seem like an obvious area – but it is important to attend sessions regularly. If you have a block of 6 sessions, make sure you attend all of them – in a regular pattern, like weekly or monthly.

If you find yourself attending one session, then missing a couple and then returning for another session in a few months, the lack of consistency will harm your progress.

Instead, ensure that you attend sessions as scheduled. This will help you get into a strong routine, and you will find that the sessions, and activities in between them, become easier to do and more produce more effective results!

Have clear goals

Having clear goals is important in therapy. While you may not know exactly what you want to get out of therapy, it is a good idea to enter with at least some idea of what you hope to get out of it. This will help you reflect on sessions well.

If you enter therapy with very little idea of what you want, it can be difficult to ascertain whether or not therapy is working. When looking back on progress, having goals can help you to see how each week you are improving.

Typical goals could include more positive relationships with family members, having a more positive outlook, having less intrusive thoughts, or coming to terms with a phobia. Ultimately, you will be able to use your goals as an indicator of overall success of therapy.

Enter with motivation

It is very important to enter therapy feeling motivated. It can be so difficult when you are struggling with your mental health to feel positive, or get motivated for anything. But it is crucial to do so with therapy.

By entering with motivation, you will find yourself more willing to make changes, receptive to the ideas of the therapist and believing that change is possible. This mixture of areas can be really helpful!

The chances are that if you enter in a motivated mindset, that you will have a much better chance of succeeding with therapy. It will make you ready to change, and likelier to see therapy as a positive thing – which it is!

Be prepared for a strong therapist-patient relationship

Research shows that one of the biggest indicators of how likely therapy is likely to work is the relationship between the therapist and patient [1]. This is a huge part. It is therefore crucial to try and get along well with your therapist.

Sometimes, personalities will sadly clash. But enter therapy with positivity, and the idea that you and your therapist will have a positive working relationship. Be receptive to their ideas, listen, and be honest with them!

By having a strong relationship, you will feel more comfortable when speaking to them. The therapist will be doing their best to help you, and together you will be able to make strong strides towards improved mental health.


Therapy does have the potential to be an excellent treatment for mental health. It isn’t easy to go through therapy, but by engaging in the areas above, the chances of success are maximised.

If you need more information about therapy, you can see our article on Everything You Need To Know About Talking Therapy, or you can see How to Access Talking Therapy For Mental Health. Better mental health is achievable!



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We strive to keep all of our pages updated, and ensure that our website is full of factual and in-depth information. However, we encourage you to browse this website with care.

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If you are struggling with your mental health, help is available. With the right support and treatment, you can make a recovery. For information on helplines, or if you are in a state of crisis, please visit our crisis page by clicking on the relevant link for your geographical location (United Kingdom), (United States), (International). You can also see how to get mental health treatment and the process involved by clicking this link.


[1] DeAngelis, T. (2019). Better relationships with patients lead to better outcomes. Monitor on Psychology. 50 (10): p38.