What typically goes on during a therapy session?

The Comprehensive Guide

Therapy, like many things in life, can often be shrouded in mystery and uncertainty, like your lunch pale when you got to school, you hope something is going to be good in there. But, apart from movies where therapists and clients form bonds like no other and a whole story ensues, it is time we look at what actually happens during a therapy session. This topic often looms large in the minds of many who consider seeking professional help. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll demystify the therapy process, offering insights into what typically occurs during these sessions, and how they can be a transformative experience.

Understanding the Framework of Therapy Sessions

1.)  Laying the Groundwork

The first therapy session is often about laying the groundwork. This is where the therapist will assess your needs, understand your background, and establish the goals for your therapy. It’s a time for both you and your therapist to get to know each other, building a foundation of trust and openness.

2.) Dialogue in Therapy

Dialogue is the cornerstone of any therapy session. It’s through conversation that therapists help you uncover deeper insights into your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. This exchange is not just about talking; it’s a structured approach to understanding and resolving issues.

Exploring Different Therapy Techniques

1.) Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Rewiring Thought Patterns

CBT is a popular method used in therapy sessions. It involves identifying negative thought patterns and behaviors and restructuring them into more positive and constructive ones. This technique is particularly effective in treating anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions.

2.) Psychodynamic Therapy: Delving into the Past

This approach focuses on understanding how your past experiences, particularly those from childhood, are influencing your current behavior. Psychodynamic therapy can provide profound insights into long-standing emotional problems and help resolve them.

3.) Holistic and Integrative Approaches

Many therapists use a combination of techniques, tailoring their approach to fit your unique needs. This may include mindfulness practices, relaxation techniques, and other holistic methods to support your mental well-being.

The Therapeutic Relationship: A Partnership for Growth

The relationship between you and your therapist is a critical component of the therapy process. It’s a partnership built on mutual respect, confidentiality, and commitment to your growth. A good therapist will make you feel heard, valued, and understood, providing a safe space to explore your inner world.

1.) The Role of Homework in Therapy

Therapy doesn’t just happen in the therapist’s office. Often, therapists assign ‘homework’ – tasks or exercises to be done outside of sessions. This might include journaling, practicing relaxation techniques, or working on specific behavioral changes. This aspect of therapy helps reinforce what’s learned during sessions and encourages active participation in your healing journey.

2.) Closing and Future Planning

As a session wraps up, your therapist will often summarize key points, discuss progress, and set goals for future sessions. This helps maintain a clear direction and focus for your therapy journey.

3.) The Transformative Power of Therapy

Therapy is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s a deeply personal journey that requires commitment and openness. While it can be challenging, the transformative power of therapy lies in its ability to help you understand yourself better, develop coping mechanisms, and improve your overall quality of life.


Therapy, much like what you can be going through in life, is often complex, nuanced and  tailored to the individual. It’s a journey of self-discovery and healing, facilitated by a professional who guides and supports you every step of the way. Whether you’re struggling with mental health issues, dealing with life’s challenges, or simply seeking personal growth, therapy can offer the tools and insights needed for a more fulfilling life.