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How to use Psychotherapy, by Ashley Kwan RP, Registered Psychotherapist

Last Updated: April 15, 2024

Many people talk about therapy these days. For those that have never “used” therapy, the thought of  investing time and money into it can be off-putting. But like with any other health service, there are the do’s and don’ts that can help be a guide in using therapy for the first time.


  • Notice the changes that you would like to be able to make in your life and identify areas of “stuckness” 
  •  Talk to your therapist about what would be helpful/unhelpful in navigating changes
  •  Ask your therapist about what you can work on in-between sessions (if you are the homework type) so that learned items can be put into practice. 
  •  Trust the process. If you haven’t landed on any conclusions to the above points, that’s okay too! Sometimes it is discovered along the way. 


  • Keep hurt feelings to yourself (especially if it is caused by the therapist!). It may not be easy, but can also be an opportunity for empowerment.
  •  Knock it till you try it. Sometimes, shutting down a technique your therapist suggests can actually slow down your progress. 
  •  Think too much. If you are the “think myself into a corner” type, sometimes slowing down and giving space to our feelings is what’s needed. Conversely, if you are the “trust my feelings always” type, sometimes it is helpful to think about our feelings more objectively.
  •  Try to be the perfect client. It doesn’t exist, nor can you know if that’s you. This can actually be distracting from the actual work of therapy (ie.avoidance of actual issues that are bothering you)! 

These are a few guidelines to help you navigate how to get the most out of your therapy sessions. Of course, the number one tip is always to be honest with your therapist. After all, your goal is their goal. Have you given therapy a try before?

Ashley Kwan is a Certified Art Therapist and Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. She holds a Bachelors of Science from Queen’s University and a Master’s level Diploma in Art Therapy from The Toronto Art Therapy Institute. Her passion is to support clients in telling their story and exploring ways in which growth might happen. Her approach has always been person-centered and relational, drawing from Mindfulness-based practices, CBT, narrative therapy, and inner child work. She seeks to help people find meaning, purpose, and ultimately their true inner voice through the therapeutic relationship. By cultivating and nurturing this inner voice, her goal is to see the client grow in maturity and find flourishing in all areas of life. Ashley works with children, adolescents, and adults. She specializes in working with clients who experience:
● Stress
● Anxiety
● Depression
● Grief and Loss
● Trauma
● Adjustment difficulties

Book with Ashley Kwan

Read more: How to use Psychotherapy, by Ashley Kwan RP, Registered Psychotherapist