Open Mindedness – The Key to Successful Therapy

By Tim Baugher, BHT

The thing that I am struck by the longer I work in the mental health community may seem like a simple concept on the surface:  there has to be an inherent open-mindedness from any prospective or existing client if they hope to make inroads on their personal goals in therapy.

This does not strike me because I had a myopic knowledge of this idea, but rather the fact that many people don’t seem to have an understanding as to what open-mindedness consists of.  It sounds good to say to people out loud: “I’m an open-minded person”.  But are we really? Recognition of our shortcomings is a wonderful, introspective start to the therapeutic process.  It takes courage to show vulnerability in any aspect of our lives, and saying “I have flaws”, is more exposed than most statements we tend to make.

The next step however, is more important and often where clients tend to bog down in their therapeutic journey.  In successful therapy, emphasis needs to be on where we have an ability, as an individual,  to affect change in our own life.  It can get very comfortable to look at the surrounding people in our environments, and the dire circumstances that life serves up, sometimes without warning.  It can get even cozier to believe that all of these external factors are the catalysts for all which ails us.  However, a journey towards self-improvement begins and ends with the way in which we are able to manage the things within our control: emotional regulation, altering of perspectives, and most importantly, accountability to our own contributions when considering our mental health concerns.

This is where true open-mindedness lies.  A recognition that we may not have all of the answers, and the strength that comes with that realization.  Finding out that we have an ability to influence our relationships and environment instead of waiting for them to influence us.  When people find this groove in therapy, self-discovery becomes a thing to behold, and portends for longer-lasting success.  If we’re being honest, that’s what we are hoping for when we come to therapy in the first place. Successful therapy experiences come from an open-minded posture.

Family Strategies Counseling Center has actively serviced clients since 2000 with various mental health issues and general counseling Give us a call (800) 614-8142 or visit our website for more information.

Fill Out Form
Would you like to privately speak with someone?