Is Therapy Working Anxiety
So you have been going to therapy for a few sessions now. You don’t really feel different, yet, anyways. Which is making you question whether or not therapy is even working to begin It’s a perfectly normal question to wonder if therapy is working, or if you have anxiety about whether or not you are making progress in therapy.
I get it, because unfortunately, we are conditioned to want immediate results, and by immediate, I mean by tomorrow at the latest! To see if the changes we are expecting and hoping for, are happening for us. We do it with dieting – “I ate two apples yesterday, why haven’t I lost weight yet?” I’m only joking with that, I don’t think anyone actually thinks like that. But you see what I’m saying?
We want results, and we want them now. And if we can’t have them yet, we want to at least know that we are on our way to results. This is where the is therapy working anxiety can get the better of us.
Therapy does not work like that. I wish it did. I would love nothing more than to see my clients be better immediately. So, that begs the question, then – how do I know if therapy is working? And is anxiety about therapy progress okay to have? Quick Answer: Yes, and if used well, this can actually propel you to make lasting change.
Signs That Therapy Is Working & What To Do If Not
1. Do You Like The Approach?
You aren’t seeing many results yet, but do you feel comfortable and at ease with the direction things are heading? Do you agree with the basic approach being taken? Do you understand the approach your therapist is using with you? This is a great first step to understanding and overcoming is therapy working anxiety AND being able to answer the question is therapy working for me?
If you like the approach that the therapist is taking with your mental / emotional health, it doesn’t have to show the immediate results. Instead, it is a great precursor to the approach actually working to help you eventually make lasting changes in your life. It is important to routinely monitor if therapy is helping you.
What To Do If The Therapy Approach Isn’t Working – Give Feedback ASAP!
Therapists have a knowledge base of tools, coping mechanisms and skills we can share with clients. But no two people will respond the same way. If you don’t like the approach to therapy your therapist is taking, for whatever reason, don’t be afraid to speak up about it. If you don’t, your therapist is likely going to continue working with you on that trajectory. But if it isn’t working, and you do speak up, therapists are always happy to adjust methods and the approach to find something that works best for you.
2. Do You Like Your Therapist And Get Along With Them?
The relationship you have with your therapist is very important. You should feel comfortable with your therapist and mesh well with them. When you have both of those, your therapy is going to be more effective. After all, you are less likely to be receptive to what they are teaching you if something about them just doesn’t feel right. Trust your gut here and if it doesn’t feel comfortable for whatever reason, please tell your therapist. If it still doesn’t feel right for you, then leave and find another therapist! Not every therapist is a great fit for every client and any therapist worth working with, will want you to get the best possible therapy you can, regardless of whether they are the best fitting therapist for you and your needs.
Sometimes, for whatever reason, you don’t match up with the therapist you are seeing. There is nothing wrong with that. We expect, that at times, we won’t end up being the best match for one another. What is important in this case is that it’s okay to want to move on to another therapist. Your mental health is more important to us than trying to force something that isn’t there or isn’t working for you. So ask yourself, does this therapist feel like the right fit for me? If not, even if you cannot explain why, honor this (and yourself) and keep looking.
3. You Feel Challenged…But Not Too Much
Therapy should challenge you. It should not feel easy, after all, you are unlearning the coping skills you have picked up along your journey and learning new ways of thinking, and acting. You are learning to let go of past events, facing difficult emotions and learning to manage your symptoms.
Therapy should be challenging. But not difficult. Not unsafe. And not fearful. It should be a balance of feeling like you are doing something to grow but not experiencing any growth because it isn’t working. A good therapist (for you) is one that gets the balance between helping you feel challenged AND helping you feel supported. If you find that you are not getting enough of one or the other (or too much) – please tell your therapist and then see if the therapy changes and begins to work well for you.
4. When You Aren’t Feeling Challenged Or Like It’s Too Much
Things shouldn’t feel too easy or too hard. If either of these things are the case, we are always receptive to hearing about it without getting offended (promise!) We as therapists do our best to go at the pace you want to and that we think is most therapeutic. Therapists are more than happy to slow things down or make things more challenging so you can feel like you are getting the most out of this experience.
Therapy is a chance for you to grow as a person and to help foster healthier relationships with yourself and other people. If something isn’t working out, for whatever reason, you can always talk about it. And even if things are working out, it is always okay to give more feedback in order to make things work even better for you. If you do the above, then is therapy working anxiety should be overcome and your confidence that therapy is helping you will grow.
Learn more about anxiety treatment by clicking HERE. If you are ready for the challenges that come with therapy and ready to grow as a person, please feel free to contact me at my Honolulu or London clinic to set up an Anxiety Treatment Test Drive.
I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Hawaii and an Accredited CBT Therapist and Psychotherapist in the UK with over 16 years of experience. My specialties are: Anxiety Treatment, Therapy For Gay Men, Life Coaching for Anxiety, Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Compassion Focused Therapy.