Last updated:

November 4, 2022


 min read

What to Expect From Therapy: A Comprehensive Guide

We are all aware of how films portray therapy. Someone is lying on a soft, comfortable couch, peering at the ceiling, while their therapist probes, "And how does that make you feel?" Although the couch sounds pleasant, this description is quite inaccurate.

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Written by
Malvika Rathi

While therapy is a step toward better mental health, getting started can be overwhelming. But don’t worry! We are here to tell you everything you need to know about getting started with online therapy and what to expect from it (and what not to).

First, let’s look at what therapy is not:

A magical solution to all your problems  

The most common myth people have about therapy is that it will instantly solve all your problems. But since your therapist is not a wish-granting genie, that is not really possible. 

Your therapist will only guide you in the right direction to discover solutions to your problems. They won’t offer you a quick fix to life’s challenges; you will have to actively invest time and effort to tackle those. 

It may seem frustrating when your therapist isn’t giving you direct solutions, but over time, you’ll realise how empowering that was. 

Instant gratification

Sometimes, people are distressed not because of the situation but because they are unsure of their choices. This might make them think a therapist can tell them if they have made a wise decision or not. 

When you talk to a therapist, it helps you analyse the choices you want to make and empower you to make the decision you think is the best for you. They do not offer the validation or gratification you might be seeking and trust us, you’re better off that way!

A compulsory lifelong subscription 

Many people stay away from therapy because they believe therapy would become something they wouldn’t be able to live without. 

While there is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking therapy all your life, therapy is not something you get hooked to. Once your therapist feels that you have made enough progress and are in the headspace to manage things, they help you terminate the sessions.

Everyone has a unique healing journey and requires a different time frame to process their emotions. The ultimate aim of therapy is to enable people to handle situations, regardless of how long it takes. 

How is therapy different from talking to a friend? 

While your friends have your best interests at heart, venting to friends is not a substitute for therapy. Let's see why that is the case.

Therapists are trained to conduct their sessions in an unbiased, ethical way. They assure you the following during their sessions, differentiating therapy from talking to your best friend:

The promise of confidentiality 

A therapist ensures everything discussed during a session stays between just the two of you. If at all they need to share it with someone, they would first seek your consent.

Non-judgemental attitude 

Therapy is judgement-free. You can share anything and everything on your mind with your therapist without worrying about being judged.  

Non-directive approach 

Talking to a therapist will let you decide the course of your session. Instead of someone else directing you with their advice (as it might happen while talking to a friend), you would be making choices for yourself. 

What to expect from therapy

Finally, let us walk you through what to expect when you opt for online therapy. 

The comfort to vent

While talking with your therapist, you can expect the comfort and ease of communicating your thoughts and emotions without having to filter anything. 

If therapy doesn't feel like a safe space, it might be a sign that you need to look for a different therapist.

Feeling overwhelmed is natural 

Your therapist will probe you with questions which might need you to introspect, question, and unlearn your behavioural patterns. In such a situation, feeling overwhelmed is natural. 

This entire process might feel uncomfortable, and that’s alright! Your natural healing and growth can only begin once you start uncovering your emotions. 

The process extends beyond the sessions

Therapy can’t be effective if you restrict your healing process to just one-hour sessions. Your healing actually begins after the session, when you start applying whatever you have discussed with your therapist. 

Your therapist will work with you to curate some strategies and work plans during each session. If you want noticeable results, execute those when you are not accessing online counselling services

More than just talking and sharing

If you expect therapy sessions to be a place to dump your thoughts merely, it is time for you to unlearn that. There is actually a lot more to therapy! 

Your sessions would include much more than just talking. Each session would push you to challenge your thoughts, question your beliefs, introspect, and learn and unlearn - all of which are essential steps for improved mental wellbeing. 

Now that you know what to expect from therapy, it is time to book your first therapy session! On Rocket Health, you can talk to a therapist online without any hassle. We guarantee a judgement-free, comforting space to address all your mental health concerns. 

What’s more, you don’t even have to worry about finding a suitable therapist. Fill this out, and we will help you find a therapist online and set up your first therapy session.